The Neatly Ordered Ordinary

(Posted by Paige Britton)

On Canon, Providence, and Robinson Crusoe

{Belated disclaimer: This is not a full-orbed defense or description of the Protestant doctrine of canonization. I could write that if I wanted to; in this case, I didn’t want to.}

It’s been remarked recently, in our discussion on the canon, that it is necessary for the supernatural gift of the Scriptures to have reached the church in nothing other than a supernatural way. This is, of course, the Catholic version of the story, which identifies the Roman Church’s divinely-appointed magisterium as the supernaturally endowed channel that protects the church from error. Ordinary means are good enough to transmit something natural or ordinary, like the Pythagorean Theorem; but the extraordinary must be delivered by the extraordinary.

Protestant appeals to “Providence” in this matter understandably ring hollow in Catholic ears, for how can the mundane course of historical events safely support or explain the holy? And isn’t “Providence” almost synonymous with “fate,” “luck,” or “chance,” since the outcome of, say, Roe v. Wade, or the formation of the biblical canon, are by this account equally matters of God’s incomprehensibly mysterious machinations? Surely something as important as communicating which books belong in the Bible would have been accomplished in a more obviously supernatural and officially authoritative way!

Now, I am sensing a sort of leitmotif in RC theology here. Those things and people that are considered holy are wrapped in a kind of protective glow, like a halo on a Christmas card, that sets them apart from the merely earthly. There is an intimation here of extreme tidiness; these things are clean and sparkly, unsullied by association with the common. This has a sort of spiritual, even biblical, logic to it: after all, a high and holy God would never stoop to deliver the supernatural by natural means! Too risky!

Or would he? What’s more fitting than that the God of the universe, who slipped into human history by way of a woman’s womb and a feeding trough, should so arrange things that his written word could be identified (yea, even identified as inspired!) by the ordinary expedients of time, text, and people? Why wouldn’t such a God intend that knowledge of the supernatural be mixed up cleverly with the stuff of earthly life?

There is a scene in Robinson Crusoe that is as nifty a parable about Providence and our expectations of it as anybody could write. Here’s Crusoe on his island, not yet converted, and one day he is floored by the discovery of a small stand of cereal grains growing in a corner of his compound. He knows he didn’t plant them, and he has seen nothing of the sort anywhere else on the island. The best conclusion he can come to is that he has been the recipient of a miracle of spontaneous germination! For days he walks around in the glow of a spiritual high – until it occurs to him that a little while ago he’d dumped a pile of old, rat-gnawed husks in that corner to free a feed sack for another use, and no doubt some overlooked kernels must have sprouted. Immediately the supernatural collapses into the natural, the extraordinary into the ordinary, and his spiritual glow is extinguished. It’s not till long afterwards, when the eyes of his heart have been enlightened by the Spirit and the Word, that he has sense enough to be stunned by the neat ordering of ordinary events that led to viable seeds scattered accidentally in the only place they could have safely grown, thus providing for him the stuff of life.

If we are looking for a tidy, safe way to know what we need to know, Roman Catholic theology offers a package deal, appealing to our preference for certainty over trust and our fascination with the otherworldly and the miraculous.

Trouble is, the biblical God doesn’t tend to live up to these expectations;

…and after all, it’s the neatly ordered ordinary that should bring us to our knees.

About these ads

629 Comments

  1. Ron said,

    November 29, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Paige,

    Let me try to get a little philosophical in an effort to help define what infallibility is, but maybe more importantly what it is not.

    Certainly Romanists should agree that God is at least capable of bringing to pass his eternal plan and purpose without making his volitional creatures infallible. Judas and the Satan serve as prime examples of such infallible beings that always did as God has decreed. However, their actions were not morally right but rather terribly wrong; so not to confuse matters we won’t use them as examples of infallible creatures. How about when Johnny is ordained from the foundation of the world to get 100% on his fifth grade math final, does he do so infallibly? No, but he does so impeccably.

    What is it to be infallible after all? For the Romanist it has to do with immunity to error. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church defines infallibility as ‘Inability to err in teaching revealed truth’. With respect to Johnny, if it was impossible for him to err on his test, then would he have earned 100% infallibly. Now in one sense, given that God decreed that Johnny would earn 100% on his test, there is a sense in which it was impossible for him to err. Notwithstanding, such a description is misleading because it makes infallibility a vacuous term; for even Judas and the Satan would be infallible on such terms. Although Johnny’s choices are never metaphysically free, there are certainly “possible worlds” where Johnny fails to earn 100% given the same state of affairs in which he earns 100%. At the moment of choice, God brings to pass a distraction for instance, causing Johnny to shade in the wrong oval on the exam. All this to say, although Johnny is naturally capable of error (i.e. fallible by nature), God brought to pass according to his predetermination Johnny’s perfect score. So to call Johnny infallible would be a misnomer. (Now of course Charles Hodge was wrong when he said that Jesus could have sinned. Not only had God decreed that the Second Person of the Trinity would not sin – more the point, a divine person cannot sin in any possible world. Johnny could err and still be Johnny – so error is compatible with Johnny’s person. Jesus could not have sinned and remained God; so there is no possible world in which he sins. The impossibility goes beyond a matter of decree. It’s an ontological consideration.)

    Now then, is there a possible world in which the church does not receive the canon aright? Well, let me rephrase that question. Is there a possible world in which Jesus promises that the church receives the canon and she does not receive it? I would say ABSOLUTELY NOT. Does that make the Romanist position correct? After all, isn’t it true that because Johnny errs in possible worlds, Johnny must be fallible even when God decrees that he act impeccably correct? Yet because Jesus errs in no world, he therefore cannot err and is, therefore, infallible. So what about the church? If there is no world in which she errs on the reception of the canon given the promise to receive the canon, mustn’t the church have been infallible when she received the canon? NO – and here is why. Up until now we’ve only been talking about possible worlds in which one errs or does not err given the same state of affairs. So, when Johnny is merely decreed to get 100% on his test without an accompanying divine promise, there are possible worlds in which he doesn’t earn the grade he ends up getting in this world, corroborating that he is fallible.Yet once a promise is made from God, it is impossible for what the promise contemplates not to come to pass in any possible world wherein the state of affairs includes the divine promise. In a word, there are no possible worlds in which Johnny is promised a grade of 100% by God and does not receive it, lest it is possible for God’s promise not to come to pass. I hope we can see more clearly that infallibility is not a necessary condition for the impossibility of acting incorrectly. If Johnny were promised 100% by God, Johnny does not become infallible in order to earn the mark, but rather fallible-Johnny is preserved from error according to the promise. Given the promise there is no world in which Johnny fails to earn 100%, even in those worlds in which he simply guesses the answers. Maybe a less hypothetical example might be of use. There is a promise from God that all true believers will be glorified. That means there is no possible world in which a justified soul perishes, given the golden chain of redemption. Does that make justified sinners infallible in their perseverance? No – but it certainly demonstrates God’s preservation of his adopted sons in Christ.

    In summary, to say that all men are infallible because they always act according to what God determines would make “infallibility” a vacuous term. Nobody is doing that. A subset of that consideration is that when morally responsible agents get the correct answer, they are not behaving infallibly lest we all have seasons of infallibility. When a divine promise is made, which must come to fruition being a divine promise, infallibility is not a necessary condition for the result lest sinners justified by grace become infallible in their perseverance.

    Ron

  2. November 30, 2010 at 12:41 am

    I am still waiting for an explanation that appeals to reason at all, yet manages to reconcile the “emergence” of the supernatural from the natural. Regardless of the level at which this is solved—as those Romans Catholics do, at the level of Pope-and-Council, or as you Protestants do, at this other level—it is an undecidable problem for once reason has to agree.
    The just shall live by faith. (And not by sight.)

  3. November 30, 2010 at 7:58 am

    What’s more fitting than that the God of the universe, who slipped into human history by way of a woman’s womb and a feeding trough, should so arrange things that his written word could be identified (yea, even identified as inspired!) by the ordinary expedients of time, text, and people?

    Compared to this depiction, the account of the Incarnation in the canonical Gospels comes across as very *extra*ordinary: a virginal conception; angelic hosts singing in the heavens; magicians from the East bearing gifts, following a strange star; visions and prophecies. With such a start, a score or so of Ecumenical Councils whereby God protects his Church from error, guiding her in the way of truth, in fact, the whole spectacle of holy tradition, shouldn’t seem very out of the way.

    Yes, God became a little human baby, with toes and nerves and the whole “ordinary” bundle, but the thing that makes all the difference is that that baby was *God.*

  4. Andrew McCallum said,

    November 30, 2010 at 8:00 am

    When a divine promise is made, which must come to fruition being a divine promise, infallibility is not a necessary condition for the result lest sinners justified by grace become infallible in their perseverance.

    So Ron, maybe to summarize it even more succinctly you are saying that the crux of the matter is the locus of infallibility, correct? Our problem with the Catholics on this point is that they necessarily associate infallibility with the human institution of the Church, agreed?

    So our issue is not with the fact that the Scriptures came to the Church “in nothing other than a supernatural way” but that it was the Church that wielded a tool of infallibility to guarantee this supernaturalness. No doubt someone looking from the outside in at us Protestants and Catholics debating this matter would think we were arguing over nothing. And I could understand this except for the fact that the tactic here is to use the specific case of the infallibility of the canon to rationalize a general ecclesiastical infallibility whereby at certain times and certain places and under certain conditions the Church is assured of promulgating matters without error.

  5. rcjr said,

    November 30, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Loved the Crusoe story. Reminded me of reading Velikovsky who gives this astonishing naturalist explanation of the miracles of the Exodus. Utterly brilliant, but I couldn’t help but think of Romans 1 as I wondered, “How can this great mind miss the fact that these “natural” events keep blessing Israel and destroying Egypt? Isn’t there such a thing as a “miracle of timing?” We ought, I think, have the same response every time we sit down to dinner, that God should have brought this feast to us, and in my case, that He should have blessed me with such a wife, and eight beautiful children. We need to learn to see God at work in the ordinary.

  6. paigebritton said,

    November 30, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Hi, Andrew P:
    Compared to this depiction, the account of the Incarnation in the canonical Gospels comes across as very *extra*ordinary…

    Yup: agreed! I never said God wasn’t at work supernaturally, too! But notice the difference between your account and ours: we are able to say that Christ “humbled himself and became a man,” even to arriving via an ordinary woman’s womb. But your theology protects this descent of deity by positing sinlessness in Mary. It’s of a piece with a theological system that protects the holy from being tainted by the ordinary, which lends itself to the dismissal of an argument involving ordinary providence in matters like the canon.

  7. Ron said,

    November 30, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Andrew,

    As far as I’m concerned, yes, the locus of infallibility is the issue. To attribute that attribute to the church is I believe heresy because it attributes to a divine institution an incommunicable attribute. As you observed, their tactic is to move from a single act of alleged ecclesiastical infallibility to a general, perpetual infallibility where in the end consciences are bound to the precepts of men and a supposed vicar for Christ on earth replaces the head of the church and her mediator. I believe that is the telos that drives all other dogmas. It is all about power and mind control, which sounds strange to western ears but give the papacy an inch and you’ll find people walking on broken glass for the remission of sins without them being instructed by their priests in a better way, the way of life. At the very least their sin in such instances is leaving undone that which ought to be done.

    As I stressed in the post above, being correct and even being divinely promised to act faithfully hardly implies infallibility. What is striking to me is that without blinking an eye these men suggest that the de facto position for the church’s reception of the canon is her infallibility, whereas biblical precedence shows that we need not move beyond divine intent and providence for our answer to this question on the canon. Burden of proof is of no consequence to these men because principled arguments don’t seem to be, but ironically unprincipled arguments are what they accuse us of levying, yet again without an accompanying principled argument. Being first to make a claim hardly makes the claim true, another tactic of theirs, and arguing from unprecedented silence always raises suspicion in a discerning mind.

    Keep up the good fight Andrew, but there comes a time when the horse has no life, as I think you said elsewhere. :)

    Ron

  8. paigebritton said,

    November 30, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Ron & Andrew M,
    I’m tracking with you guys: but here I’ve intended simply to comment on a theological system that is conveniently and consistently allergic to a robust sense of God’s ordinary providence.
    pax,
    Paige B.

  9. Andrew McCallum said,

    November 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I’m tracking with you guys: but here I’ve intended simply to comment on a theological system that is conveniently and consistently allergic to a robust sense of God’s ordinary providence.

    Paige – Sounds good, I appreciate your distinction here. What interests me is where they came by their allergy since it seems that it did not get passed on from the Apostolic Church nor from those who most immediately followed them.

  10. Reed Here said,

    November 30, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Paige: think you’re on to something here.

    For our congregants I summarize the Bible’s doctrine of Providence this way: God ordinarily works his sovereign will via the ordinary everyday things of ordinary life; or the short-hand version: God ordinarily works ordinarily.

    The amazing thing is not God effecting something via the extraordinary, After all, we should expect that from someone who has the capacity to create anything out of nothing. The amazing thing is God consistently securing his will through the mundane ordinariness of billions of lives making billions of choices every day. Now that takes some doing.

    It is interesting to observe that our RCC friends find it necessary to explain things here beyond what the Bible tells us. To be sure, they will maintain they’re merely explaining what the Bible says. (I think the evidence shows otherwise).

    Why this need to nail things down so tightly that man’s intellect is absolutely satisfied? Why not live with some sense of “because he is God and that is enough,” especially where he has not spoken?

    The canon question is one that not going to be thoroughly answered because the Bible does not directly address it. At best we can make inferential only arguments. These are fine and good, provided they go no further than what the BIble does say.

    God’s providence combined with his promises concerning his word, these are enough to secure the child’s faith in how God gave us the canon. Beyond that lies the danger of rebellion-based demands for answers.

  11. paigebritton said,

    November 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    It is interesting to observe that our RCC friends find it necessary to explain things here beyond what the Bible tells us.

    I’d even venture to suggest that most (all?) of the extrabiblical RC doctrines that we normally bring up in these discussions — from Mariology to transubstantiation to the infallible magisterium — all share the common feature of shying away from “God ordinarily works ordinarily.”

    Somewhere along the line the “demand for a sign” mentality took over, I think!

  12. Reed Here said,

    November 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    ooo – demand for a sign! Exactly where my thought was going. It is not unique to our RCC friends to assert the need for “objectivity” (read: autonomous certainty). It is a question as to why this seems to be such an issue for them.

  13. Tom Riello said,

    November 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Paige,

    Even though I often disagree with your conclusions, I always enjoy reading your work. You truly are very gifted as a writer and best of all you display courtesy and genuine desire for irenic discussion.

    You might be interested to read Tom Howard’s book, On Being Catholic, especially his chapter On Hiddeness. In that chapter he discusses the ordinaryness of Catholic faith and life. Could it not be said that as Catholics our claim that what appears to be just a piece of bread is really, truly and substantively God, like our common belief in the Incarnation believing that what appears to be an ordinary Man is really and truly God, gives due appreciation to the ordinary, or what it appears to be ordinary but, is really and truly, as Manley-Hopkins says, charged with the grandeur of God?

    As usual, good writing.

  14. Andrew McCallum said,

    November 30, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Here is John Calvin on ordinaryness that I saw on a blog (http://underdogtheology.blogspot.com/2010/07/calvin-on-qirc.html) that was commenting on Scott Clark’s concept of the Quest for Illegitimate Certainty, or QIRC for short.

    “If God acts by the usual means and in the ordinary way, those means which are visible to the eyes are — as it were — veils which hinder us from perceiving the Divine hand; and therefore we discern nothing in them but what is human. But if an unwonted power of God shines above the order of nature and the means generally known, we are stunned; and what ought to have deeply affected all our senses passes away as a dream. For such is our pride, that we take no interest in any thing of which we do not know the reason.” (John Calvin, Commentary on John — Volume I (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classic Ethereal Library), John 7:15).

    So I understand the desire for more certainty than what God may have intended and I do think that the Catholic folks are sometimes guilty here. But I think there is something else behind all of the Catholic apologist quest for authority predicated on human authority. But I’ve already spoken to this previously. And I suppose we are all have qirc-iness embedded in our human nature – we just love to find reasons for things and we feel out of sorts when we cannot.

    Cheers….

  15. Jim Cassidy said,

    December 1, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Hi Paige,

    Good stuff here and insightful critique of Rome’s view of canonization!

    Even so, there are some points I would love to see refined somewhat. For instance, the Protestant view of canonization is not merely a matter of the natural outworking of God’s providence as the church recognizes the canon of Scripture. The Holy Spirit is very much involved here as a supernatural work of God’s free grace by which God’s people hear the voice of their good shepherd and follow him. The Holy Spirit is not completely absent from the church’s recognition of the canon.

    Also, one thing which continually seems to escape the Protestant idea of canonization is that it does not happen in the 4th, 3rd, or 2nd century. The canon of the Bible is given to the church as the books of the canon are written and completed. In other words, canonization is a process which takes place and is COMPLETED in the 1st century with the last published book of the NT (probably Revelation). And this notion of canonization IS wholly supernatural as it comes through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit directly through the human authors of the Bible. What happens in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th century, then, is another process by which the church recognizes the canon which has already been given in the 1st century. While this comes by the help and leading of the Holy Spirit, unlike inspiration, this is a fallible process (which you rightly point out). But God does lead his church in all truth, and while it may have been a bumpy road, we trust that God has given us all we need for life and godliness by the 4th century. And even now, the Spirit bears testimony to us that what we have now is all we need – nothing more, nothing less.

  16. Ron said,

    December 1, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Well stated Jim. What was the case became known to be the case.

  17. paigebritton said,

    December 1, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Hi, Jim!
    Yes, and yes. I said many of the same things in comments on the other thread, including the part about the canon being finished and known at the end of the apostolic age. In this case I meant to say something a bit bigger about dissatisfaction with ordinary providence, using our canonicity discussion as a springboard; but I would never deny that the Holy Spirit had a role in canonization! Yet what this looks like for Protestants — e.g., in part, the early church recognizing the apostolic associations of the authors — is very different from what this looks like for Catholics — the infallible magisterium giving its stamp of approval. There’s a different flavor to God’s supernatural, providential working, from the Protestant’s point of view. I think the canonicity discussion is just the tip of the iceberg.
    Thanks!!
    Paige

  18. paigebritton said,

    December 1, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Hi, Tom,
    thanks for your kind words.
    I’ll look into the book recommendation. But alas, no, I don’t think you get to claim “ordinary providence” for doctrines that very much insulate the holy from the ordinary. I would think you would want to defend the insulation. It’s just striking to me that the Catholic doctrines that arise out of Tradition rather than Scripture share the common feature of altering the ordinary in some way to protect the holy.
    pax,
    Paige B.

  19. David H. said,

    December 1, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Paige, you wrote:

    “…but here I’ve intended simply to comment on a theological system that is conveniently and consistently allergic to a robust sense of God’s ordinary providence.”

    This is exactly the argument Catholics, I believe accurately, make regarding the Sacraments and the Protestant allergy towards recognizing (throughout scripture) God using the ordinary to effect the supernatural – rocks, mud and spit, bronze snakes, water, bread and wine. Only in Catholicism (and Orthodoxy) is there a completely robust and full sense of God’s ordinary providence.

  20. D. T. King said,

    December 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Only in Catholicism (and Orthodoxy) is there a completely robust and full sense of God’s ordinary providence.

    Yes, we acknowledge your assertion of superiority. :)

  21. David H. said,

    December 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Yes that was my point exactly, David. Thank you for thoughtfully engaging my response. :)

  22. Ron said,

    December 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Rome is famous for saying “trust me.” What if Jesus said he was walking on water but appeared neck high in water? Or what if the Israelites appeared to be crossing the Red Sea in canoes but we were told to believe they were crossing on dry ground? What if Elijah on Mount Carmel rather than dowsing the firewood with water poured lighter fluid over it and then generated a spark in order to ignite a fire? Would God want us to consider such events miraculous? Now apply that same reasoning to the bread and wine being transubstantiated without any change in appearance. The moral of the story is – Protestants embrace the miraculous but not the ridiculous. If the senses are not engaged in a miracle, then any charlatan may claim the miraculous. God would have his people be wise, not foolish.

  23. D. T. King said,

    December 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Yes that was my point exactly…Thank you for thoughtfully engaging my response. :)

    You’re quite welcome to both, my engagement of your gratuitous assertion and your sense of superiority. :)

  24. David H. said,

    December 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    You are most gracious, Rev. King.

    I guess I have been silenced.

  25. Ron said,

    December 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Could it not be said that as Catholics our claim that what appears to be just a piece of bread is really, truly and substantively God, like our common belief in the Incarnation believing that what appears to be an ordinary Man is really and truly God, gives due appreciation to the ordinary, or what it appears to be ordinary but, is really and truly, as Manley-Hopkins says, charged with the grandeur of God?

    No Tom, we don’t have a common belief in the incarnation based upon what appeared to be an ordinary man. Men who appear ordinary yet claim to be God do not deserve our devotion and worship. They belong in mental hospitals. Ordinary men do not raise the dead, calm the seas, cast out demons, give sight to the blind etc. You are justified in believing the miracles of Scripture but don’t pretend that the hocus pocus of the mass may be equated with true miracles that appeal to the senses. Please don’t come back with “it’s a matter of faith” but rather, please try to internalize the point.

    Ron

  26. steve hays said,

    December 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    David H. said,

    “This is exactly the argument Catholics, I believe accurately, make regarding the Sacraments and the Protestant allergy towards recognizing (throughout scripture) God using the ordinary to effect the supernatural – rocks, mud and spit, bronze snakes, water, bread and wine. Only in Catholicism (and Orthodoxy) is there a completely robust and full sense of God’s ordinary providence.”

    Except that every rock is not the miraculous water fountain in the wilderness, every artistic snake is not a miraculous cure for snakebite. Most of the time, a rock is just a rock. Most of the time, a snake is not a type of Christ.

    Sure, when God specifically assigns a particular blessing or emblematic import to physical objects and rituals, then Protestants have no problem with that connection.

    This, however, fails to raise any presumption that a suggestive cloud formation is really an apparition of the Virgin Mary.

    And it’s not as if Catholics assume that every piece of bread is sacramental. They don’t assume that cinnamon rolls from the bakery are really the True Body of Christ–appearances notwithstanding.

  27. Ron said,

    December 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    And it’s not as if Catholics assume that every piece of bread is sacramental. They don’t assume that cinnamon rolls from the bakery are really the True Body of Christ–appearances notwithstanding.

    So their claim is, umm, well, ad hoc.

  28. Paige Britton said,

    December 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    David H. wrote:
    Only in Catholicism (and Orthodoxy) is there a completely robust and full sense of God’s ordinary providence.

    But only in Protestantism do the ordinary things STAY ordinary while God uses them in extraordinary ways: e.g., Mary gets to stay an ordinary Jewish woman in need of redemption; the bread and wine of the Supper get to stay bread and wine; the leaders and laity of the church alike use ordinary means to understand the Scriptures; the early Christians recognized the imprimatur of the apostles without special magisterial help.

    You can hijack the vocab, I guess, but you sure don’t mean what we mean by it.

  29. David H said,

    December 1, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Steve,

    I did not mean to suggest that every rock or piece of bread is sacramental. But I was suggesting that God uses the ordinary for something extraordinary and he does so throughout scripture. In Christ God ordained ordinary, mundane things to be combined with His word to create something sacred – means of grace.

    “Sure, when God specifically assigns a particular blessing or emblematic import to physical objects and rituals, then Protestants have no problem with that connection.”

    Christ went beyond this with Holy Communion. The point is He took something ordinary and made is his body and blood. So I am sure you were using understatement when you said Protestants have no problem with it since Christ commanded this be done until His return.

    “This, however, fails to raise any presumption that a suggestive cloud formation is really an apparition of the Virgin Mary.”

    Lol. You will get no argument from me.

    “And it’s not as if Catholics assume that every piece of bread is sacramental. They don’t assume that cinnamon rolls from the bakery are really the True Body of Christ–appearances notwithstanding.”

    I agree again. If I seemed to suggest otherwise I apologize for my poor communication skills.

  30. steve hays said,

    December 1, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    David H said,

    “Christ went beyond this with Holy Communion. The point is He took something ordinary and made is his body and blood. So I am sure you were using understatement when you said Protestants have no problem with it since Christ commanded this be done until His return.”

    You’re conflating two distinct issues:

    i) Protestants don’t object to the principle that God can and sometimes does use matter to convey spiritual lessons or blessings.

    ii) Protestants do object when Roman Catholics misappropriate Bible verses, which they rip out of context, to backdate and rubber-stamp Roman Catholic superstitions.

  31. David H said,

    December 1, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Paige,

    Thanks for your response.

    “But only in Protestantism do the ordinary things STAY ordinary while God uses them in extraordinary ways”

    I think you are overstating the case. I don’t think this is unique to Protestantism Catholics can just as easily affirm this. The difference is that (most) Protestants don’t recognize when God does transform the ordinary by the power of His word combined with matter.

    “Mary gets to stay an ordinary Jewish woman in need of redemption”

    Being highly favored in all of creation to be the new Eve, the Mother of God the Son – to give Him his flesh is certainly unique and sets her apart. While she was a Jewish woman in need of redemption there was nothing ordinary about her despite her otherwise humble life.

    “the bread and wine of the Supper get to stay bread and wine”

    Jesus said “this is my body… this is my blood”. So while it could remain mere bread and wine that is not what scripture teaches.

    “the leaders and laity of the church alike use ordinary means to understand the Scriptures; the early Christians recognized the imprimatur of the apostles without special magisterial help.”

    Christians in the first 1500 years of the church did not use a merely rationalistic approach to understanding the Scriptures. Not the Fathers ceertainly. They recognized different senses of scripture, only one of which protestants acknowledge. Jesus and the apostles certainly interpreted some Hebrew scriptures in a way that leaves one scratching their head. Scripture was always understood to be God’s Word for the Church not merely individual Christians alone. It’s context in and for the Church and as such must be understood by the Church – not various competing sects. Clearly not what God intended.

    “You can hijack the vocab, I guess, but you sure don’t mean what we mean by it.”

    I cannot see how anachronistically reading later beliefs, foreign to the early church, back into church history and scripture keeps the protestant safe from vocab hijacking. The early Christians relied on there Bishops and presbyters read and help them understand scripture. The laity did not have copies of a completed canon in their homes. And it took hierarchy in Council to determine the canon. How is that not magisterial help?

    If we were given all the various early Christian writings and had to come up with a canon in 2010 there is not a chance that it would be the ones recognized by Protestants and Catholics. The Lutherans would leave out James. Methodists Romans 9. Everybody would leave out Esther. Ordinary means would make the current canon impossible.

  32. David H said,

    December 1, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    “their” not “there” in the 2nd to last paragraph. Sorry.

  33. Ron said,

    December 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    “Jesus said “this is my body… this is my blood”. So while it could remain mere bread and wine that is not what scripture teaches.

    Do you interpret the entire upper room discourse in that wooden way? How is Jesus a door and a vine?

  34. Ron said,

    December 1, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    If we were given all the various early Christian writings and had to come up with a canon in 2010 there is not a chance that it would be the ones recognized by Protestants and Catholics. The Lutherans would leave out James. Methodists Romans 9.

    How is a semi-Pelagian Romanist any more pro-Romans 9 than a Methodist?

  35. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 1, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    David H,

    I was in Rome with my family last month and while we did not see too many of the places that the Catholic pilgrims normally visit, one of our first stops was the St. Peter in Chains Church (near the Colosseum). Probably most of the visitors go there to see Michaelangelo’s famous statue of Moses (truly staggering BTW), but to that church their equally treasured possession is the two sets of chains that are claimed to be those that bound Peter. My children asked me about these and we got into a good discussion about this issue of the ordinary means of grace and the ordinary providence of God and what I perceive to be the dissatisfaction with this ordinariness that so obsessed the Medieval RCC. Now I don’t want to get into a deep debate over the theology of relics, but only to suggest that much of the history of the Christian Church has been plagued by this desire with finding objects that were believed to possess supernatural characteristics. In time the devotion for these things replaced the simple devotion that characterized the early years of Christianity. Protestantism sought to address such problems by bringing back a passion for the ordinary means of grace into the Church.

    So as Paige alludes to, God can work through His ordinary means (which are wonderful to behold as Calvin points out) without the Church being imbued was infallible powers or without the bread taking on supernatural qualities or without Mary being being elevated to the high an exalted status of RCC theology. We are confident that God can and does work His miraculous work through the simple and the ordinary. Such ordinary means are entirely sufficient to convey God’s supernatural blessings upon us.

    Cheers….

  36. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    David,

    I read your #31 after posting my #35. I think you have a number of misconceptions about what we believe. We do not believe in only one sense of Scripture and we don’t read Scriptures in a rationalistic manner. There are often literal and non-literal interpretations of Scripture (I would BTW be happy to speak with you about the four senses of Scripture that characterized the hermeneutics of much of the Medieval Church). And most importantly we do not deny the necessity of the mediating work of the Church. And of course by Church I mean that institution defined as such by Scripture. I think your reliance on one institution that is given infallibility under certain conditions (as defined by Rome) is just the problem we are talking about in this thread.

    Anyway I would encourage you to ask questions about what we believe. We spend way to much time debating Catholics about what WE believe!

  37. Ron said,

    December 1, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    You won’t find people walking two blocks on a sunny day to see a demonstration of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, but you’ll find them travelling in droves in hopes of encountering a ghostly appearance of the “Queen of Heaven” who allegedly appeared to three shepherd children in the village of Fatima. Don’t get me wrong, Protestants have their thrills and chills too to like with the “Toronto Blessing.” (It’s interesting that when true believers had an encounter with God they typically fell on their face, but through the mediation of faith healers they tend to fall backwards. Go figure.

  38. MarkS said,

    December 1, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Paige,
    Have you considered all of the apparently ordinary things that are actually extra-ordinary that all of us Christians believe? When you start to think about it, it’s staggering.
    1. What appear to be ordinary letters from a missionary to the churches he founded are actually the very inspired and inerrant word of God. Why can’t they just be letters?
    2. What appeared to be another Roman execution of 1st century Jew was actually a once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. Why can’t he just be a man like us?
    3. What appears to be two people committing their lives to each other and then consummating the relationship is actually a marriage where two become one. Why can’t any two people who do this be a marriage?
    4. What appears to be a group of people who gather together and share the same religious beliefs is actually a church and part of the body of Christ. Why not just an ordinary social club.
    5. It appears that the body of every person who has died has or is decomposing, or is just a pile of ash, but we believe all bodies will be raised.
    A RC could argue that it is just as “fitting” that the God who took these apparently ordinary things and made them extraordinary would also take what appears to be ordinary hierarchical leaders and make them extraordinary.
    The question is not about whether one group believes in too little or too much ordinary-ness, but what has God actually done and what does he continue to do.

    I think you would have an argument if RC’s argued that God could not have brought about the canon except through an infallible magisterium. Instead they argue that we can only have infallible knowledge of the canon through an infallible church. The reformed argument is we can have infallible knowledge because of the extraordinary promise of God to provide it.
    Blessings.

  39. steve hays said,

    December 1, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    As Roy Ciampa and Brian Rosner point out in their recent commentary on “This is my body,” “The bread should be understood to represent Christ’s body just as the different elements of the Passover Seder represented and reminded them of different aspects of Israel’s experience of redemption at the time of the exodus. In the Seder they ate unleavened bread to remind them of their forefathers who baked cakes from unleavened dough ‘that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait’ (Exod 12:39), and they ate bitter herbs (Exod 12:8; Num9: 11) ‘because the Egyptians embittered the lives of our fathers in Egypt,’ 550.

  40. D. T. King said,

    December 1, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    I have always wondered why the Apostle Paul didn’t get the Roman memo about the Lord’s Supper . . . I mean the guy must have been confused, because no less than three times after the elements were consecrated, he *still* continued to refer to them as “the bread” and the “cup.”

    1 Cor. 11:26-28
    26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
    27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood1 of the Lord.
    28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

    Didn’t he know better?

    Even Pope Gelasius didn’t get the memo…

    Gelasius, Bishop of Rome (492-496): Surely the sacrament we take of the Lord’s body and blood is a divine thing, on account of which, and by the same we are made partakers of the divine nature; and yet the substance of the bread and wine does not cease to be. And certainly the image and similitude of Christ’s body and blood are celebrated in the action of the mysteries. (Tractatus de duabus naturis 14 [PL Sup.-III. 773]) See Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, 3 Vols., trans. George Musgrave Giger and ed. James T. Dennison (Phillipsburg: reprinted by Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1992), Vol. 3, p. 479 (XVIII.xxvi.xx).
    Latin text: Certe sacramenta, quae sumimus, corporis et sanguinis Christi divina res est, propter quod et per eadem divinae efficimur consortes naturae; et tamen esse non desinit substantia vel natura panis et vini. Et certe imago et similitudo corporis et sanguinis Christi in actione mysteriorum celebrantur. Jacques Paul Migne, Patrologiae Latinae, Tractatus de duabis naturis Adversus Eutychen et Nestorium 14, PL Supplementum III, Part 2:733 (Paris: Editions Garnier Freres, 1964).

    Even Jesuit scholar Kilmartin informs us that Gelasius didn’t get the memo…

    Edward J. Kilmartin, S.J.: According to Gelasius, the sacraments of the Eucharist communicate the grace of the principal mystery. His main concern, however, is to stress, as did Theodoret, the fact that after the consecration the elements remain what they were before the consecration. Edward J. Kilmartin, S.J., “The Eucharistic Theology of Pope Gelasius I: A Nontridentine View” in Studia Patristica, Vol. XXIX (Leuven: Peeters, 1997), p. 288.

    Edward J. Kilmartin, S.J.: The teaching of Gelasius on the subject of the sacraments of the Eucharist has often been explained as being in line with the teaching of the Council of Trent. But, as a matter of fact, Trent rejected it on two counts. In canon 1 of the thirteenth Session (1551), the council taught that the Eucharist not only signifies but contains ‘the totum Christum’. The explanation of Gelasius does not include, and indeed seems explicitly to exclude, a doctrime of the somatic real presence of the ‘whole Christ’. Secondly, Canon 2 stresses the patristic notion of ‘conversion to avoid the notion of the union of the substance of bread and wine with the substance of the humanity of Christ. This concept was already found in the list of propositions attributed to Reflormers formulated in 1547: ‘There is in the Eucharist indeed the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, but with the substance of bread and wine, so that there is no transubstantiation, but a hypostatic union of the humanity and the substance of bread and wine’. Canon 2 was formulated precisely to avoid the idea that a rigid parallel exists between the unique hypostatic union of Logos and humanity and the sacrament of the Eucharist. But precisely this viewpoint is central to the Eucharistic theology of Pope Gelasius. Edward J. Kilmartin, S.J., “The Eucharistic Theology of Pope Gelasius I: A Nontridentine View” in Studia Patristica, Vol. XXIX (Leuven: Peeters, 1997), p. 288.

  41. BSuden said,

    December 2, 2010 at 12:51 am

    “Jesus said “this is my body… this is my blood”. So while it could remain mere bread and wine that is not what scripture teaches.”

    Seriously how is this any better than Arthur Blessit’s literal 12 ft. wooden interpretation of “Take up thy cross and follow me” complete with a inflatable 12-1/2″ tricycle wheel so the end doesn’t drag on the ground?

    “How is a semi-Pelagian Romanist any more pro-Romans 9 than a Methodist?”

    You obviously are out of the loop big time.
    CTC has the scoop
    It begins with:

    One sometimes hears the charge that the Catholic Church, through the Tridentine decrees on justification, adopted a semi-Pelagian soteriology. I contend here that Calvinists for their own part must give account for the similarity of their view of the Covenant of Works to the Pelagian view on nature and grace in the original state of man. . .

    Well, yeah, it’s called the covenant of works after all but . . . never mind.

  42. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Ron:

    “Do you interpret the entire upper room discourse in that wooden way? How is Jesus a door and a vine?”

    Huge difference. Jesus did not establish a perpetual rite when he compared himself to a door and a vine. “My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink”. Jesus is not obscure in John 6. It clear contextually that his comparisons elsewhere were entirely different than his establishment of the New Covenant rite.

  43. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 2, 2010 at 8:03 am

    MarkS (#38):

    You make a profound point, and I would like to push it one degree further. God’s action in uniting a man to a woman in marriage, say, turns an ordinary relationship into something with extraordinary significance. And for that reason, we say that marriage is “instituted by God.” You are exactly right.

    And that’s actually enough. Marriage is special for the sole reason that in ordinary marriage, God unites two people together.

    But for the RC this is not enough; no, for them, marriage must become a sacrament, a means by which God pours extra grace into us, further sanctifying us.

    But didn’t RCs ever notice that husbands and wives aren’t, on average, any more sanctified after the marriage than before?

    The specialness of marriage consists of God’s action, and not in some new quality that transforms the man and wife. That’s what Paige is getting at, I think.

    So the letters from Paul: yes, they are the word of God, because the HS superintended their composition so that every word is a word intended by God.

    And yet — the letters themselves are just pieces of paper. Their physics and chemistry are not transformed by being the Word of God; it is their message that carries the eternal weight of glory.

    RCs don’t seem to get that, which is why they (still!) believe that bones of saints can convey grace.

    I’m not expressing this very well because it’s somewhat hard to say, but the point is that there is a difference between ordinary items with extraordinary significance, and extraordinary (magic-ish) items.

    In communion, we can feast on Christ without the bread and wine having to turn into His body and blood.

  44. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Ron:

    “How is a semi-Pelagian Romanist any more pro-Romans 9 than a Methodist?”

    Respectfully, The common reformed definition of semi-pelagianism is not the actual definition. I know of no Reformed person who has read Orange (the Catholic council that defined it) who can honestly affirm it. Semi-Pelagianism is not merely Arminianism. If you have not read the definitions of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism according to the council I do recommend it. Catholicism can affirm the council. The Reformed cannot.

    Predestination is de fide in the Catholic Church. It must be believed.

    Personally, I am an Augustinian/Thomist. I am not sympathetic to the Molinist view. In fact the doctrine of election was the make it or break it for me when I was exploring Catholicism.

  45. Ron said,

    December 2, 2010 at 8:45 am

    David H. said:

    “ [Ron stated]: “Do you interpret the entire upper room discourse in that wooden way? How is Jesus a door and a vine?”

    Huge difference. Jesus did not establish a perpetual rite when he compared himself to a door and a vine. “My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink”. Jesus is not obscure in John 6. It clear contextually that his comparisons elsewhere were entirely different than his establishment of the New Covenant rite.</blockquote

    Your axiomatic defense is arbitrary. It reduces to: Jesus’ words may only be taken metaphorically if he is not “establishing a perpetual rite.” How do you justify that hermeneutical principle? What non-arbitrary principle forbids such a literal interpretation of the vine and door metaphors spoken by the Lord that same evening but permits it for the flesh and blood metaphors?

    Ron

  46. Ron said,

    December 2, 2010 at 8:46 am

    David H. said:

    “ [Ron stated]: “Do you interpret the entire upper room discourse in that wooden way? How is Jesus a door and a vine?”

    Huge difference. Jesus did not establish a perpetual rite when he compared himself to a door and a vine. “My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink”. Jesus is not obscure in John 6. It clear contextually that his comparisons elsewhere were entirely different than his establishment of the New Covenant rite.

    Your axiomatic defense is arbitrary. It reduces to: Jesus’ words may only be taken metaphorically if he is not “establishing a perpetual rite.” How do you justify that hermeneutical principle? What non-arbitrary principle forbids such a literal interpretation of the vine and door metaphors spoken by the Lord that same evening but permits it for the flesh and blood metaphors?

    Ron

  47. Ron said,

    December 2, 2010 at 8:56 am

    “Respectfully, The common reformed definition of semi-pelagianism is not the actual definition. I know of no Reformed person who has read Orange (the Catholic council that defined it) who can honestly affirm it. Semi-Pelagianism is not merely Arminianism. If you have not read the definitions of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism according to the council I do recommend it. Catholicism can affirm the council. The Reformed cannot.

    You’ve missed the point by a mile. I appreciate what semi-Pelagianism is and I also appreciate that Romans nine affirms Calvinism. My point, which you’ve missed, was clearly and simply that Romanism denies Romans nine no less than Methodist theology.

    Predestination is de fide in the Catholic Church. It must be believed.

    All denominations (Christian or not) have some definition of a “predestination” because “predestined” is in the Bible. The question is whether the definition does justice to texts such as Romans nine; so to say that Romanism affirms predestination advances no particular position.

    RD

  48. steve hays said,

    December 2, 2010 at 8:56 am

    David H. said,

    “Huge difference. Jesus did not establish a perpetual rite when he compared himself to a door and a vine.”

    i) That’s a deeply confused response. Ron wasn’t comparing perpetuity to temporeity. Rather, he was comparing literality to symbolism.

    “I am the bread” is just one of several “I am” statements in John. And Ron is pointing out that Jesus uses self-descriptive metaphors in some other “I am” statements. So why construe the “I am” statement in Jn 6 at odds with “I am” usage elsewhere in John?

    ii) In addition, your statement makes no sense even on its own grounds. Do you think Jesus’ other “I am” statements in John denote a merely temporary state of affairs? Is Jesus just temporarily the good shepherd, the true vine, the light of the world, the resurrection and the life, as well as the way, truth, and light?

    “’My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink’”. Jesus is not obscure in John 6. It clear contextually that his comparisons elsewhere were entirely different than his establishment of the New Covenant rite.

    i) It’s contextually clear that Jn 6 foreshadows the Cross (Jn 19), not the Eucharist.

    ii) In Jn 6, Jesus is speaking to Jews prior to the institution of the Eucharist. How could he fault them of disbelief when they were in no position to know what he’s referring to?

    By contrast, sacrificial atonement was a very familiar concept to Jews, not to mention specific Messianic prophecies to that effect (e.g. Isa 52-53).

    iii) Jn 6 doesn’t use eucharistic formulae. The eucharistic formulae employs the stereotypical body=bread/blood=wine pairing. By contrast, Jn 6 uses a flesh=bread pairing.

    iv) Contextually, the colorful imagery in 6:50-58 figuratively depicts the literal faith language in v40.

  49. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Steve Hays,

    I appreciate the conneciton to the Passover seder. One additional point, and central to the seder, is the sacrificial lamb. The Jews actually consumed the sacrificial lamb. Christ who is our Passover Lamb and the most direct link to the seder is that He commands us to actual consume the flesh of the Lamb as Jews do and did at every seder (or at least a good brisket). This was a game changer for me. The Jews consumed the Lamb of sacrifice at Passover and Christ commands us to do the same. That goes way beyond symbolism.

  50. steve hays said,

    December 2, 2010 at 9:09 am

    For instance, take Jn 6:35:

    “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

    Notice how “hunger” and “thirst” function as spiritual metaphors, while coming to Jesus by faith is the literal idea.

    In this verse, the “bread” belongs to the same picturesque metaphor as “hunger” and “thirst.” Three consumptive figures of speech. So Jesus is using picture-language to depict the literal act of faith. 6:50-58 simply expand on the figurative illustration in v35.

  51. steve hays said,

    December 2, 2010 at 9:17 am

    David H. said,

    “I appreciate the conneciton to the Passover seder. One additional point, and central to the seder, is the sacrificial lamb. The Jews actually consumed the sacrificial lamb. Christ who is our Passover Lamb and the most direct link to the seder is that He commands us to actual consume the flesh of the Lamb as Jews do and did at every seder (or at least a good brisket). This was a game changer for me. The Jews consumed the Lamb of sacrifice at Passover and Christ commands us to do the same. That goes way beyond symbolism.”

    i) Your comparison undercuts your contention. Both the Passover and the Eucharist involve the literal consumption of food items. Therefore, that doesn’t establish a contrast between the Passover and the Eucharist.

    ii) How does literal consumption go “way beyond symbolism?” You seem to be confusing a literal action with what the action signifies.

    ii) Likewise, both rites were divinely mandated.

    iii) You also disregard the fact, as Rosner/Ciampa document, that the Passover was clearly representational.

    iv) *What* goes “way beyond symbolism”? Do you apply transubstantiation to the Seder meal as well? Did Jews merely consume the accidental properties of the lamb?

  52. David Gray said,

    December 2, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Of course those of us who affirm the Westminster Confession do believe that when we take the Lord’s Supper in faith we do feed on the body and blood of Christ, just not carnally. Calvin is excellent in his exposition of this truth.

  53. steve hays said,

    December 2, 2010 at 9:45 am

    BTW, David seems to be committing another level confusion. The proper comparison is not whether a NT rite goes “way beyond” an OT rite, but whether the thing it stands for goes “way beyond” the rite.

    The Passover commemorates an event-the Passover. The Eucharist commemorates an event–the Crucifixion.

    The Crucifixion goes way beyond the Eucharist, just as the Exodus goes way beyond the Passover. It’s the difference between a commemorative emblem, and the event which lends significance to the emblem.

  54. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Ron:

    “Your axiomatic defense is arbitrary. It reduces to: Jesus’ words may only be taken metaphorically if he is not “establishing a perpetual rite.” How do you justify that hermeneutical principle? What non-arbitrary principle forbids such a literal interpretation of the vine and door metaphors spoken by the Lord that same evening but permits it for the flesh and blood metaphors”

    It is far from arbitrary, Ron. The hermeneutical burden is on anyone who reads metaphor into Jesus words. You need to reconcile it with John 6 and 1 Corinthians 11. Plus, there the entire church up until Zwingli and the Radical Reformers believed in the Real Presence. Metaphor was never understood in the Fathers.

  55. Ron said,

    December 2, 2010 at 10:24 am

    It is far from arbitrary, Ron. The hermeneutical burden is on anyone who reads metaphor into Jesus words.

    It’s arbitrary because you have not brought forth a relevant distinction for why Jesus is not turned into a vine and door if he is turned into bread and wine. You need to do more than just assert your position; you must bring forth an actual argument as to why perpetual observances (with spiritual significance) are to be taken one way but non sacramental statements another way. Not surprisingly, your arbitrariness leads to your inconsistency.

    You need to reconcile it with John 6 and 1 Corinthians 11.

    There’s no reconciling for me to do because I consider them both to be referring to the same metaphor, making my position internally consistent. It’s you who must reconcile transubstantiation with the door and wine metaphors in order to avoid arbitrariness and inconsistency in your own interpretation of the upper room discourse.

    Plus, there the entire church up until Zwingli and the Radical Reformers believed in the Real Presence. Metaphor was never understood in the Fathers.

    Even if your statement wasn’t absurd, it makes a fallacious appeal to authority.

    In passing we might note that the Romanist interpretation of the supper leads to a heretical Christology since a human body cannot be omnipresent, which simply demonstrates another inconsistency regarding human bodies. Arbitrariness always leads to inconsistency down the road.

  56. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Steve,

    I am not sure where to begin. Time is short.

    Your John 6 response is what is confused. You do not truly engage what Christ said. You merely dismiss his words with the typical “this is what he really meant” in a more sophisticated presentation. Engage a few things head on if you would.

    What did he mean when he said his flesh and blood were TRUE food and drink? There is an exegetical norm that should be observed and makes the meaning obvious.

    Why were the Jews scandalized?

    Why did he not say “Woah folks! Wait a minute, you misunderstand! I am only speaking metaphorically”.

    John clearly orders the events in his gospel with a deeply theological chronology. It is not a mere chronology of events. He emphasises several things in his gospel that would have clear meaning to the early church. John 6 is one of these. Remember that while the events happened before, the gospels were written after and each with specific emphases. Notice all the Baptism passages before and after John 3 for example.

    In the Passover Jews did not simply commemorate an event as we would on July 4th. They view the commemoration as a participation in the events of their people. This is abundantly clear in Judaism. And again you miss the point that they ate, at the first and subsequent passovers the actual passover lamb. What is unclear about that? They did not symbolically participate, the actually did. Jesus was not known for going from greater to lesser.

    What is missing is a lack of understanding of the Jewish mind and how they view(ed) participation vs. our modern idea of a memorial event. The Jews saw the important events of their people as something they were involved, a memorial was a participation and a remembrance.

  57. steve hays said,

    December 2, 2010 at 10:57 am

    David H. said,

    “It is far from arbitrary, Ron. The hermeneutical burden is on anyone who reads metaphor into Jesus words.”

    Do you apply that burden to other “I am” statements in John?

    “You need to reconcile it with John 6 and 1 Corinthians 11.”

    Since the proper interpretation of those passages is the very issue in dispute, you can hardly take that for granted, as your standard of comparison.

    “Plus, there the entire church up until Zwingli and the Radical Reformers believed in the Real Presence. Metaphor was never understood in the Fathers.”

    Assuming, for the sake of argument, that your claim is correct (and there’s no reason to take your word for it since you’re not a church historian or patrologist), that’s a diversionary tactic, and hermeneutically irrelevant.

    The Bread of Life discourse, recorded in Jn 6, wasn’t addressed to the church fathers. It wasn’t even addressed to Christians. Rather, it was addressed to 1C Palestinian Jews, prior to the institution of the Eucharist. Jesus’ audience didn’t have a eucharistic frame of reference to go by.

    You’re not making a good faith effort to step back into the real world setting of the discourse. Instead, you’re reducing Jn 6 to a fictitious, ex post facto allegory that fabricates a backstory to illustrate and validate a later institution. An etiological tale of the Eucharist.

  58. steve hays said,

    December 2, 2010 at 11:43 am

    David H. said,

    “Your John 6 response is what is confused. You do not truly engage what Christ said. You merely dismiss his words with the typical ‘this is what he really meant’ in a more sophisticated presentation.”

    That’s a dishonest exercise in poisoning the well on your part. There was nothing “dismissive” about what I wrote. Rather, I presented a 5-point, contextual argument (including my follow-up comment) for my interpretation.

    “What did he mean when he said his flesh and blood were TRUE food and drink?”

    That’s a proleptic, figurative allusion to his atoning death on the cross.

    “There is an exegetical norm that should be observed and makes the meaning obvious.”

    Words don’t exist in a vacuum. His speech took place at a specific time and place, with a specific audience. That’s an exegetical norm.

    “Why were the Jews scandalized?”

    They weren’t scandalized because they thought he was teaching the transubstantiation of the communion elements, that’s for sure. A eucharistic referent wasn’t even available to them.

    They were scandalized by his graphic, sacrificial imagery.

    “Why did he not say ‘Woah folks! Wait a minute, you misunderstand! I am only speaking metaphorically.’”

    i) To begin with, taking Jesus too literally is a common subtheme in the Forth Gospel.

    ii) Moreover, they would still be offended even if they took his words figuratively. They were offended by his mission. They were offended by who he said he was.

    “John clearly orders the events in his gospel with a deeply theological chronology. It is not a mere chronology of events. He emphasises several things in his gospel that would have clear meaning to the early church. John 6 is one of these. Remember that while the events happened before, the gospels were written after and each with specific emphases. Notice all the Baptism passages before and after John 3 for example.”

    At best that belongs to the reception history of the text, and not to the original intent of the speaker. You can’t collapse the audience for the gospel into the audience for the recorded discourse, when it was first delivered.

    Unless you think Jesus went out of his way to deceive his audience, and then condemn them for misconstruing his deceptive speech, a speaker ordinarily chooses his words so that what he says will be understandable to his audience. They may still misunderstand, but not because his words were inherently misleading.

    And it’s also the duty of the early church to make allowance for the historic setting of the discourse. It’s incumbent on a reader of the Gospel to put himself in the situation of the target audience to whom the address was originally directed. Christians shouldn’t be so egocentric as to imagine that they don’t have to take the setting into account.

    “In the Passover Jews did not simply commemorate an event as we would on July 4th. They view the commemoration as a participation in the events of their people.”

    A symbolic reenactment of a past event.

    “And again you miss the point that they ate, at the first and subsequent passovers the actual passover lamb. What is unclear about that? They did not symbolically participate, the actually did.”

    You simply repeat the same level-confusion I already corrected you on. This isn’t difficult to sort out.

    Take a medieval morality play like Everyman. That’s an “actual” play. The actors “actually” play the characters.

    Yet the plot is metaphorical. The characters personify variations of good and evil.

    Try to draw the elementary distinction between symbolic participation and participation in symbolism. One can actually participate in a symbolic ceremony.

    Take certain rite-of-passage ceremonies involving symbolic death through burial in a coffin, followed by a “resurrection.”

    “Jesus was not known for going from greater to lesser.”

    That commits another level confusion I already corrected you on. The “greater” is not a sacrament, but the person and work of Christ.

    “What is missing is a lack of understanding of the Jewish mind and how they view(ed) participation vs. our modern idea of a memorial event. The Jews saw the important events of their people as something they were involved, a memorial was a participation and a remembrance.”

    You haven’t demonstrated that you are privy to the mind of ancient Jews. Instead, you resort to facile equivocations.

  59. D. T. King said,

    December 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    OK folks, #54 is one of those great examples of how Romanists are wont to make these sweeping, over-generalizations…

    Plus, there the entire church up until Zwingli and the Radical Reformers believed in the Real Presence. Metaphor was never understood in the Fathers.

    1) Notice how our Romanist disputant shifts from the concept of transubstantiation to the “Real Presence,” under which the Roman view of transubstantiation is but one theory, and then suggest that “the entire church” has agreed with Rome historically. This is, to be sure, an over-generalization which, by clouding the issue, attempts to tilt the facts in favor of Rome. I find this approach so amusing. :)

    2) The other sweeping over-generalization is likewise seen in the claim: “Metaphor was never understood in the Fathers.” Now, our Roman disputant, displays for us either his ignorance or his misrepresentation of the ECFs with the use of the word “never.” This, too, is very amusing because of the grandiose nature of the claim, which again attempts to tilt the argument in favor of Romanism. Let’s see if the claim is true…

    Ignatius (@ 110 AD): You, therefore, must arm yourselves with gentleness and regain your strength in faith (which is the flesh of the Lord) and in love (which is the blood of Jesus Christ). See J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, eds. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 2nd. ed., The Letters of Ignatius, To the Trallians, Chapter 8 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 163.
    Greek text: Ὑμεῖς οὖν τὴν πραϋπάθειαν ἀναλαβόντες ἀνακτίσασθε ἑαυτοὺς ἐν πίστει, ὅ ἐστιν σὰρξ τοῦ κυρίου, καὶ ἐν ἀγάπῃ, ὅ ἐστιν αἷμα Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. See J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, eds. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 2nd. ed., The Letters of Ignatius, To the Trallians, Chapter 8 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 162. Cf. also Epistola ad Trallianos, Caput VIII, PG 5:681.

    Ignatius (@ 110 AD): I take no pleasure in corruptible food or the pleasures of this life. I want the bread of God, which is the flesh of Christ who is of the seed of David; and for drink I want his blood, which is incorruptible love. See J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, eds. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 2nd. ed., The Letters of Ignatius, To the Romans, Chapter 7 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 175.
    Greek text: Oὐχ ἥδομαι τροφῇ φθορᾶς οὐδὲ ἡδοναῖς τοῦ βίου τούτου. Ἄρτον θεοῦ θέλω, ὅ ἐστιν σὰρξ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, «τοῦ ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυίδ», καὶ πόμα θέλω τὸ αἷμα αὐτοῦ, ὅ ἐστιν ἀγάπη ἄφθαρτος. See J. B. Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, eds. and trans., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 2nd. ed., The Letters of Ignatius, To the Romans, Chapter 7 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992), p. 174. Cf. also Epistola ad Romanos, Caput VII, PG 5:693.

    Augustine (354-430): “They said therefore unto Him, What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” For He had said to them, “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto eternal life.” “What shall we do?” they ask; by observing what, shall we be able to fulfill this precept? “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent.” This is then to eat the meat, not that which perisheth, but that which endureth unto eternal life. To what purpose dost thou make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and thou hast eaten already. NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate 25, §12.

    Augustine (354-430): Wherefore, the Lord, about to give the Holy Spirit, said that Himself was the bread that came down from heaven, exhorting us to believe on Him. For to believe on Him is to eat the living bread. He that believes eats; he is sated invisibly, because invisibly is he born again. A babe within, a new man within. Where he is made new, there he is satisfied with food. NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate 26, §1.

    Augustine (354-430): For from the words of scripture that the blood of an animal is its soul, apart from what I said above, namely, that it is no concern of mine what happens to the soul of an animal, I can also interpret that commandment as a sign that was given. After all, the Lord did not hesitate to say, This is my body (Mt 26:26), when he gave us a sign of his body. John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, The Manichean Debate, Part 1, Vol. 19, trans. Boniface Ramsey, Answer to Adimantus, a Disciple of Mani, 12,3 (Hyde Park: New City Press, 2006), p. 192.
    Latin text: Nam ex eo quod scriptum est, sanguinem pecoris animam ejus esse; praeter id quod supra dixi, non ad me pertinere quid agatur de pecoris anima; possum etiam interpretari praeceptum illud in signo esse positum. Non enim Dominus dubitavit dicere, Hoc est corpus meum; cum signum daret corporis sui. Contra Adimantum Manichaei Discipulum, Caput XII, §3, PL 42:144.

    Augustine (354-430): If the sentence is one of command, either forbidding a crime or vice, or enjoining an act of prudence or benevolence, it is not figurative. If, however, it seems to enjoin a crime or vice, or to forbid an act of prudence or benevolence, it is figurative. “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,” says Christ, “and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” This seems to enjoin a crime or a vice; it is therefore a figure, enjoining that we should have a share in the sufferings of our Lord, and that we should retain a sweet and profitable memory of the fact that His flesh was wounded and crucified for us. NPNF1: Vol. II, On Christian Doctrine, Book III, Chapter 16.

    Jerome (347-420) on Psalm 147: We read the Holy Scriptures. I believe that the Gospel is the body of Christ. I believe the Holy Scriptures to be his doctrine, and when he says, He who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood, although this may be understood of the mystery, yet the word of the Scriptures and the divine doctrine is more truly the body of Christ and his blood. If at any time we go to the mystery, whoever is faithful understands that if he falls into sin he is in danger; so if at any time we hear the word of God, and the word of God, and the flesh of Christ, and his blood poured into our ears, and we are thinking of something else, how great is the danger we incur. George Finch, A Sketch of the Romish Controversy (London: G. Norman, 1831), p. 170.
    Latin text: Legimus sanctas Scripturas. Ego corpus Jesu, Evangelium puto: sanctas Scripturas, puto doctrinam ejus. Et quando dicit, qui non comederit carnem meam, et biberit sanguinem meum: licet et in mysterio possit intelligi: tamen verius corpus Christi, et sanguis ejus, sermo Scripturarum est, doctrina divina est. Si quando imus ad mysterium, qui fidelis est, intelligit, si in maculam ceciderit, periclitatur. Si quando audimus sermonem Dei, et sermo Dei, et caro Christi, et sanguis ejus in auribus nostris funditur, et nos aliud cogitamus, in quantum periculum incurrimus! Breviarium in Psalmos, Psalmus CXLVII, PL 26:1258-1259.

    Jerome (347-420): Moreover, inasmuch as the flesh of the Lord is the true food, and his blood is the true drink, by legitimate consequence, this is the only good we have in the present world, namely, to feed upon his flesh and drink his blood, not only in the sacrament, but also in the reading of the Scriptures. For the true meat and drink, which is taken from the word of God, is the knowledge of the Scriptures. For trans., see William Goode, The Nature of Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist (London: T. Hatchard, 1856), Vol. 1, p. 326.
    Latin text: Porro, quia caro Domini verus est cibus, et sanguis ejus verus est potus, juxta ἀναγωγὴν, hoc solum habemus in praesenti saeculo bonum, si vescamur carne ejus cruoreque potemur, non solum in mysterio (Eucharistia), sed etiam in Scripturarum lectione. Verus enim cibus et potus, qui ex verbo Dei sumitur, scientia Scripturarum est. Commentarius in Ecclesiasten, Caput 3, PL 23:1039.

    This is what “never” means in the “never-never land” of Roman apologetics. :)

  60. TurretinFan said,

    December 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    It is clearly a bigger leap to go from “this is my body” to “this is literally my body, blood, soul, and divinity under the accidents of bread” than to “this stands for my body.”

    The latter is a normal way of talking that Jesus used elsewhere in the gospels – the former is obviously imposed on the text, rather than drawn from the text.

    Thus, it’s not surprising that we see quotations like those Pastor King identified and none explaining that by “this is my body” we really mean “this is literally my body, blood, soul, and divinity under the accidents of bread.” It’s not surprising that we find fathers who simply took the text in its most natural sense. Likewise, it’s not surprising that we don’t find any taking the position of transubstantiation.

    -TurretinFan

  61. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Steve:

    “That’s a dishonest exercise in poisoning the well on your part. There was nothing “dismissive” about what I wrote. Rather, I presented a 5-point, contextual argument (including my follow-up comment) for my interpretation.”

    I apologize, it is just that I have heard what sounds to me, like a tortured twisting of a text to make it sound like it is saying anything other than what it is saying. There was no attempt at dishonesty, and you are right, dismissive was a poor choice of words on my, I am sorry. But your 5 points were an attempt thoughtful but not very convincing. I don’t mean that in a mean spirited way at all. Were I still Reformed I would be nodding in agreement. The problem is that these sophisticated explanations miss the text itself in several way.

    For example, when Jesus says truly truly anywhere in scripture he is always saying something non-metaphorical and he is putting extra emphasis on the words.

    Also, he uses the word for “chew” or “gnaw” so there could have been no confusion by the Jews that he was only speaking of sacrificial language. The canibalistic language was what was offensive and this is clear in the context. And that is the where I will stand by what I said about torturing the text to make it say something other than what it is saying. Jesus verily verily or truly truly language never allows ambiguity in scripture.

    “At best that belongs to the reception history of the text, and not to the original intent of the speaker. You can’t collapse the audience for the gospel into the audience for the recorded discourse, when it was first delivered.”

    It doesn’t have to be either/or, Steve, it can be and is both/and. And really that goes to the heart of all of this. Paige originally made a both/and into an either/or.

    “You simply repeat the same level-confusion I already corrected you on. This isn’t difficult to sort out.

    Take a medieval morality play like Everyman. That’s an “actual” play. The actors “actually” play the characters.”

    Steve, you are importing Western/European thought categories into Hebrew minds. It does not work – it betrays a lack of understanding of the Jewish thought. To a Jew a memorial, particulalry pesach, was a remembrance and an actual covenantal participation.

    “Unless you think Jesus went out of his way to deceive his audience, and then condemn them for misconstruing his deceptive speech, a speaker ordinarily chooses his words so that what he says will be understandable to his audience. They may still misunderstand, but not because his words were inherently misleading.”

    When reading the text I cannot see how what you wrote would apply more directly to the Reformed position that to the Catholic (or Lutheran) understanding of the text.

    “You haven’t demonstrated that you are privy to the mind of ancient Jews. Instead, you resort to facile equivocations.”

    Read the ancient Jews. Don’t take my word for it. However, I do happen to be a Hebrew and likely have a personal understanding of the nature of Jewish thinking regarding the Passover. Granted I am not an ancient Jew, but I was raised celebrating Passover in the Orthodox tradition (which made for a looong night as a kid. Thankfully they would knock me out with a sip of Manischewitz.

    I am sure you are now thoroughly convinced of my position. ;-)

    Sorry for unintentionally poisoning the well. I hope you will believe me that that was not my intention. Again I am sorry for using “dismissive”.

  62. louis said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    #42: “‘My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink’. Jesus is not obscure in John 6.”

    No, He is not. “Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (6:35). “Everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life.” (6:40). “Whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” (6:48). “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” ((6:51). “Unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” (6:53). “When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘this is a hard saying; who can listen to it?’ But Jesus… said to them… ‘it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (6:60-63).

    Notice that believing is parallel to eating. That is the context and that is the meaning of the passage. Thus Augustine, as quoted above.

    Besides, Christ did not just say that the bread was His body. He also said that His body was the bread (vv.35, 48, 51. Is this to be taken literally also? He is literally living bread?

  63. Ron said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    For example, when Jesus says truly truly anywhere in scripture he is always saying something non-metaphorical and he is putting extra emphasis on the words.

    Like when he says “Truly, truly, I say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” If Jesus was talking about a literal sheepfold and a literal door, if the door were locked then the rightful shepherd would enter in some other way yet without being a thief and a robber. We need to apply some common sense to the text and not take it so “literally”, even with the two trulys. Also, weren’t there two trulys when Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again? We can see how well that conversation went with a literal interpretation.

  64. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    “It is clearly a bigger leap to go from “this is my body” to “this is literally my body, blood, soul, and divinity under the accidents of bread” than to “this stands for my body.”

    No it is not, TFan. Not unless one thinks the risen Christ can be divided. That creates big Christological problems. If Christ is alive then you receive all of Christ. Body, blood, soul and divinity is long hand for Christ in his humanity and in His divinity. In other words you receive Christ.

    Jesus did not say this stands for my body. He said this is my body. Sure we can split hairs about one philosophical explanation of the real presence. But at least that view says yes this is His body and blood, just as he said. Your only other options is appealing to dualism.

  65. louis said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Of course, the broader context is that John 6 occurs right after the feeding of the five thousand. Thus the metaphors of eating and drinking. The whole discourse really starts at 6:26-27: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life.” It then ends nicely at 6:63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

    The Lord is saying not to look to carnal things, but to spiritual things. You ate bread, great. Now seek the bread of life, which is of the Spirit.

  66. TurretinFan said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    David H wrote: “For example, when Jesus says truly truly anywhere in scripture he is always saying something non-metaphorical and he is putting extra emphasis on the words. ”

    John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

    John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

    John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

    John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

    John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

    Maybe David H. should read more Scripture and make fewer assertions!

    -TurretinFan

  67. D. T. King said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    To follow up on Ron’s post…

    Augustine (354-430): “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” For they declared that they were not blind; yet could they see only by being the sheep of Christ. Whence claimed they possession of the light, who were acting as thieves against the day? Because, then, of their vain and proud and incurable arrogance, did the Lord Jesus subjoin these words, wherein He has given us also salutary lessons, if we lay them to heart. For there are many who, according to a custom of this life, are called good people,–good men, good women, innocent, and observers as it were of what is commanded in the law; paying respect to their parents, abstaining from adultery, doing no murder, committing no theft, giving no false witness against any one, and observing all else that the law requires–yet are not Christians; and for the most part ask boastfully, like these men, “Are we blind also?” But just because all these things that they do, and know not to what end they should have reference, they do to no purpose, the Lord has set forth in today’s lesson the similitude of His own flock, and of the door that leads into the sheepfold. Pagans may say, then, We live well. If they enter not by the door, what good will that do them, whereof they boast? For to this end ought good living to benefit every one, that it may be given him to live for ever: for to whomsoever eternal life is not given, of what benefit is the living well? For they ought not to be spoken of as even living well, who either from blindness know not the end of a right life, or in their pride despise it. But no one has the true and certain hope of living always, unless he know the life, that it is Christ; and enter by the gate into the sheepfold. NPNF1: Vol. VII, Tractates on John, Tractate 45, §2.

  68. Ron said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    That creates big Christological problems. If Christ is alive then you receive all of Christ. Body, blood, soul and divinity is long hand for Christ in his humanity and in His divinity. In other words you receive Christ.

    The Christological problems have to do with Christ’s human body being found in more than one place at one time. As for receiving his body and blood in the sacrament, to reject the real presence is not to embrace the real absence. We receive Christ truly but it’s through the Spirit as our hearts are lifted up to the Lord to feast on him in faith, with thanksgiving.

  69. Ron said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    David H.,

    I’m done with you unless you retract your 2-truly axiom that has just been repudiated by more than a few. Then we’ll work backwards toward your other arbitrary rules of interpretation.

    What I find with Roman apologists is that they skip from one false claim to the next leaving a trail of absurd utterances that are never addressed or retracted.

    Ron

  70. steve hays said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    David H. said,
    “John clearly orders the events in his gospel with a deeply theological chronology. It is not a mere chronology of events. He emphasises several things in his gospel that would have clear meaning to the early church. John 6 is one of these. Remember that while the events happened before, the gospels were written after and each with specific emphases. Notice all the Baptism passages before and after John 3 for example.”

    I’ve already taken one whack at this statement, but now I’ll whack it from another angle:

    i) David generates a false dichotomy. Sure, John arranges or even rearranges scenes and speeches into a continuous, interpretive narrative for the benefit of his audience, which is not the same audience as the audience for Jesus’ discourse in Jn 6.

    However, this doesn’t suggest the two viewpoints stand in opposition to each other, as if it means one thing in the historical setting, but now means something contrary in the literary setting.

    David is tacitly suggesting that John foisted a meaning onto the discourse which does violence to the intended meaning of the speaker (Jesus).

    ii) Apropos (i), David is also tacitly suggesting that Jesus couldn’t say things to one audience which would be of general value to the church at large. Jesus was unable to anticipate the needs of the church at a later date. So the Johannine narrator must reinterpret what he said to make it relevant to the church. The original meaning is inadequate for posterity. So the narrator must substitute an extraneous meaning, then backdate it to Jesus.

    One final point: as a number of commenters have noted, if we gloss Jn 6 eucharistically, then everyone communicant is ipso facto heavenbound. Yet even Roman Catholic theology makes allowance for the possible apostasy of this or that communicant.

  71. TurretinFan said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I wrote: “It is clearly a bigger leap to go from “this is my body” to “this is literally my body, blood, soul, and divinity under the accidents of bread” than to “this stands for my body.”

    David H. replied: “No it is not, TFan.”

    Of course it is. Re-read what the options are.

    David H. continued: “Not unless one thinks the risen Christ can be divided.”

    a) Jesus first said this before his death.
    b) We can divide the concepts, so we can divide the illustration of the concepts. And, of course, in death (which is what the sacrament illustrates) Christ’s body and blood were separated from his spirit (I’ll let you tell me whether they were united or separated from his divinity).

    David H. continued: “That creates big Christological problems.”
    Mostly it creates imaginary problems.

    David H. continued: “If Christ is alive then you receive all of Christ. Body, blood, soul and divinity is long hand for Christ in his humanity and in His divinity. In other words you receive Christ.”

    The value of the sacrifice, as a sacrifice, lies in the death of the victim. And the sacrament is a memorial of Christ’s death. If he is immolated in the mass … but I think I’ve pointed that out enough.

    David H. continued: “Jesus did not say this stands for my body. He said this is my body.”

    Jesus did not say “I am like a door for my people who are like sheep,” he said “I am the door of the sheep.”

    And Jesus said “This is my body,” and “this is my blood,” not “this is both my body and blood and more” and “this is both my body, my blood, and more.” As noted above – Jesus’ use of metaphor is consistent with his use elsewhere. On the flip side, your explanation involves adding lots of things to what Jesus said in ways that make his words simply the pretextual basis of your doctrine.

    David H. continued: “Sure we can split hairs about one philosophical explanation of the real presence.”

    We can? I thought you had defined dogma! Is it just hair splitting or a dogma the denial of which will cost you your justification? Please clarify. Is this something trivial or earthshatteringly important?

    David H.: “But at least that view says yes this is His body and blood, just as he said. Your only other options is appealing to dualism.”

    Any other option is denying that Jesus was literally made out of wood and set on hinges. :eyeroll: Acknowledging that Jesus spoke in metaphor is affirming just what Jesus said in the rather obvious sense he intended (since his disciples could see he wasn’t tearing bits off his arms and legs).

    And watch me – I’m not appealing to dualism.

    -TurretinFan

  72. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    “Maybe David H. should read more Scripture and make fewer assertions!”

    I will give you a touche’ on the John 10 metaphors. Of course it obvious – Whereas your John 3 and John 6 are not if you read them in context. John 3:5 is a reference to Baptism. That is not metaphor. And the verily verily emphasises this is true so pay attention.

    Again I don’t recall Jesus establishing any covenantal sign and seal with oak doors. He did, however, with bread and wine.

    Perhaps Jesus did not really mean TRUE when he said:

    So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.

    “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

    “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.

    “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

    So please tell me why he would emphasize, with a truly truly, that his flesh was TRUE food and his bloood TRUE drink? This was the point I was trying make (which was, I admit, sloppy).

    Jesus was not prone to Clintonisms. He said “true” because he meant “true”. I cannot see how verse 55 can mean anything other than what it is actually saying. Jesus leaves no doubt by saying truly truly and true. He is making himself very clear. Any other explanation is simply eisegesis.

  73. louis said,

    December 2, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Speaking of Jewish modes of thought and context, here is Edersheim on this passage:

    “To understand the reasoning of the Jews… as also the answer of Jesus, it is necessary to bear in mind that it was the oft and most anciently expressed opinion that, althoug God had given them this bread (the manna) out of heaven, yet it was given through the merits of Moses…. This the Jews had probably in view when they asked, ‘what workest thou?’ (v.30). And this was the meaning of Christ’s emphatic assertion that it was not Moses who gave Israel that bread. And then by… a peculiarly Jewish turn of reasoning… the Saviour makes quite different, yet to them familiar, application of the manna….

    “‘The bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world’ (v.33). Again, this very Rabbinic tradition… also further explained its other and real meaning to be, that if Wisdom said ‘eat of my bread and drink of my wine’ (Prov.9:5), it indicated that the manna and the miraculous water supply were the sequence of Israel’s receiving the Law and the Commandments — for the real bread from heaven was the Law.

    “It was an appeal which the Jews understood… Jesus spake of Himself as the bread which had come down from heaven… He had said that it was not any Law, but His Person, that was the bread which came down from heaven and gave life…. To those spiritually unenlightened, the point of difficulty seemed, how Christ could claim to be the bread come down from heaven…”

    “The manna had not been the bread of life, for those who ate it had died… not so in regard to this the true bread from heaven. To share in that food was to have everlasting life… The ‘meat’ and ‘drink’ from heaven were not the law, nor yet Israel’s privileges, but fellowship with the person of Jesus… abiding in Him… or, as they would understand it, in inner communion with Him….”

  74. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Tfan,

    “Jesus’ use of metaphor is consistent with his use elsewhere.”

    No it is not. He did establish the new convenant in His blood with another metaphor. He did not establish a perpetual covenant meal so no matter how you twist it, it is clearly not the same as other metaphors he uses. Plus, it does not even make sense as a metaphor if you examine the text in context. He is establishing something not offering a mere word picture. That is just a silly interpretation that neither Calvin nor Luther would agree with.

  75. steve hays said,

    December 2, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    David H. said,

    “For example, when Jesus says truly truly anywhere in scripture he is always saying something non-metaphorical and he is putting extra emphasis on the words.”

    That’s demonstrably false, as TFan just documented (see below).

    “Also, he uses the word for ‘chew’ or ‘gnaw’ so there could have been no confusion by the Jews that he was only speaking of sacrificial language.”

    For some reason it doesn’t occur to you that Jesus is using a consistent set of metaphors. “Chew” and “gnaw” belong to the same type of imagery as “hunger” and “thirst.” Jesus uses consumptive metaphors throughout to draw a conherent word-picture. It helps the reader visualize the illustration.

    For you to quote additional terms of the very same kind does nothing to establish literality rather than symbolism.

    “It doesn’t have to be either/or, Steve, it can be and is both/and. And really that goes to the heart of all of this. Paige originally made a both/and into an either/or.”

    “Both/and” only works for *complementary* perspectives, not *contradictory* perspectives. Your interpretation cuts against the grain of historical setting. So, no, that’s not “both/and.”

    Your interpretation has to swap out what would be intelligible to the Jewish audience, then swap in a referent which would be unintelligible to the Jewish audience.

    “Steve, you are importing Western/European thought categories into Hebrew minds. It does not work – it betrays a lack of understanding of the Jewish thought. To a Jew a memorial, particulalry pesach, was a remembrance and an actual covenantal participation.”

    i) You need to drop the affectation by which you first set up a dichotomy between “Hebrew minds” and “Western/European” minds, then presume to give us the inside perspective on the “Hebrew mind.” Given that dichotomy, you yourself are an outsider to the text. You’re not an ancient Jew. And modern Jews are highly assimilated to Western European modes of thought (as I’m sure you know).

    ii) In addition, 1C Jews and Gentiles didn’t inhabit self-contained thought worlds. St. Paul is a case in point. So is Philo. And Josephus.

    iii) You continue to equivocate over “participation.” It’s not as if ancient Jews thought the Passover was a time-travel machine, whereby they literally went back to ancient Egypt and literally relived the Exodus.

    iv) ”Covenantal participation” is not the same thing as actually being there are Golgotha.

    v) Finally, Roman Catholic theology reflects a pervasively Western European mindset. So even if we play along with your (false) dichotomy, you have just cut the ground out from under your adopted denomination.

    “When reading the text I cannot see how what you wrote would apply more directly to the Reformed position that to the Catholic (or Lutheran) understanding of the text.”

    I’m not offering a partisan interpretation of the text.

    “Read the ancient Jews. Don’t take my word for it.”

    I do that whenever I read the Bible. And scholars of standard commentaries on the OT, John, and 1 Corinthians also read ancient Jews.

  76. louis said,

    December 2, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    “So please tell me why he would emphasize, with a truly truly, that his flesh was TRUE food and his bloood TRUE drink? ”

    Evidently, it is because the Jews thought that the Law and Commandments were the true bread from heaven. (See above). But of course you already knew that, given your background in Judaism.

  77. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Louis,

    I am glad you brought up the fish and loaves. You will notice that Jesus uses the same blessing in the multiplying of the fish and loaves that He does when establishing Communion. He also does the same thing after his resurrection when he prays with the disciples he met on the road to Emmaeus. And what happened when he blessed the fish and loaves with identical language? They multiplied to feed his disciples. Just like the Eucharist! And what happened when he prayed this blessing with the Emmaeus disciples? The recognized him in this act. The multiplying of the fish and loaves is tied directly, as you pointed out, to the establishing of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The connection, once you see it, is unmistakable.

  78. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Andrew,

    #36

    “Anyway I would encourage you to ask questions about what we believe. We spend way to much time debating Catholics about what WE believe!”

    Agree and vice versa! Just to clarify.

    I know that is not the actual position of all Protestants regarding scripture, but it often functionally true, and I think Paige, in the post I was responding to seemed to imply as much.

    Btw, I was Protestant (Reformed for most of my adult life) for much longer than I have been Catholic. I am pretty well versed in Reformed Theology. As I was was self consciously and happly Reformed. But your point is still a fair one.

  79. louis said,

    December 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    David,

    The same blessing, or the same action? No blessing is recorded in either of those passages.

    “The connection, once you see it, is unmistakable.”

    Only if you’re working from a western, medieval frame of reference. But since you raised the issue of how the Jews in John 6 would have seen this, could you respond to my posts at #73 & 76.

    Thanks.

  80. Ron said,

    December 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    David H., don’t bother answering my questions. You only have so much time to spend on this and these other stalwarts are pursuing you in the same general manner as I was. Truth be told, it’s hard for me to watch anybody, even a Romanist, turn into a human punching bag. :)

    Merry Christmas,

    Ron

  81. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Louis:

    Forgive me. I use “blessing” in the same way I use “grace” as in grace before meals.

    John 6:11 (NAS)

    “Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted.”

    Luke 9:16

    “Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people.”

    Luke 24:30

    “When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.”

  82. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Thank you, Ron. Lol.

    “You should se the other guy!”

  83. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Louis,

    Edersheim is not the be all and end all. Certainly as a Scottish Free Church Portestant his was not an unbiased opinion. Nor can his backgorund be said to be the be all and end of Jewish understanding. He also does not engage the fact that Jesus choice of “chew” vs. simply “eat” or “consume”. Plus his reference is to his flesh and blood specifically, being chewed on (very explicitly “eating” so as not to be mistaken).

  84. Ron said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    “You should se the other guy!”

    “Cut me Mick.” Rocky Balboa

  85. Ron said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/us/02church.html?_r=3

    We interrupt this program for a news flash from Delaware. The lead counsel in the case, who was able to opt out of the fame (but not the fortune), is an OPC elder.

  86. louis said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    David,

    I don’t think there is any real question about Edersheim’s sources here, but you can dispute them if you wish. Otherwise, all I can say is that your question (“So please tell me why he would emphasize, with a truly truly, that his flesh was TRUE food and his bloood TRUE drink?”) has been adequately answered, from the very Jewish context that you insisted on. What you do with that information is your business. Although I would hope that, in fairness, you would at least concede this point.

  87. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Louis,

    Respectfully it was not very adequate. Him being a Jewish convert does not make him (nor me) the final authority.

    Given the rest of the passage and Jesus repeatedly making the claim and in verse 53 they still seem confused. Equating manna with the law seems more a stretch than something that would be obvious to them. Then he finishes with something almost non-sensical:

    ” The ‘meat’ and ‘drink’ from heaven were not the law, nor yet Israel’s privileges, but fellowship with the person of Jesus… abiding in Him… or, as they would understand it, in inner communion with Him….”

    That is a huge leap on his part. The text does not warrant it and he sounds like a Protestant at this point, not a Jew by spiritualizing it. It just blows right past the reference to his actual body and blood being gnawed upon.

    He certainly gives a possible and plausible Jewish background, the problem is it is not compatible with the language Jesus uses in the text. And he ends with something foreign to the text.

  88. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Bottom line:

    “True” means “true”. Not some like “true”…only totally different. ;-)

  89. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Louis,

    The Chief Rabbi of Rome, likely a superior scholar in Judaism than Edersheim converted to the Catholic Church during WWII. That top Jewish scholar saw John 6 as Catholics do.

  90. TurretinFan said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    David H:

    You wrote: “I will give you a touche’ on the John 10 metaphors. Of course it obvious – Whereas your John 3 and John 6 are not if you read them in context. John 3:5 is a reference to Baptism. That is not metaphor. And the verily verily emphasises this is true so pay attention.”

    Actually, “born” is not referring to literal, physical birth but to spiritual birth. Jesus clarifies that to Lazarus who makes the mistake of taking one of Jesus’ metaphors literally.

    You wrote: “Again I don’t recall Jesus establishing any covenantal sign and seal with oak doors. He did, however, with bread and wine.”

    Baptism and Circumcision are signs and seals of the covenant administrations. Both are symbolic. The passover lamb was symbolic. The most natural inference is that if the Lord’s Supper belongs in that category it too is symbolic. (Symbolic and “merely symbolic” are not the same thing.)

    You wrote:

    Perhaps Jesus did not really mean TRUE when he said:

    So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.

    “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

    “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.

    “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.

    He meant it was true. No one but a fool would think otherwise. But what did he mean was true? Did he mean people to understand his words carnally or spiritually? Should we make ready our stomachs or our hearts when approach the Lord’s table? Is it a metaphor or a literal statement?

    Well – you yourself reject that it is a literal statement. You don’t take him at his literal words, you add lots of stuff. So, the literal statement is out. As for metaphor, the metaphor we propose is more natural than what you propose.

    You continued:

    So please tell me why he would emphasize, with a truly truly, that his flesh was TRUE food and his bloood TRUE drink? This was the point I was trying make (which was, I admit, sloppy).

    a) Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what you say? I mean you say that the food is his true body, and the drink is his true blood (not vice versa).

    b) “True” in John often refers to Spiritual.

    For example:

    John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

    John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

    John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

    Note especially that difference between bread from heaven (manna) and “true” bread. It’s not that Christ becomes bread, but that Christ is spiritual nourishment for his people.

    You wrote: “Jesus was not prone to Clintonisms. He said “true” because he meant “true”. I cannot see how verse 55 can mean anything other than what it is actually saying. Jesus leaves no doubt by saying truly truly and true. He is making himself very clear. Any other explanation is simply eisegesis.”

    I get that you’re very dogmatic about being right, but it is a little absurd to say that taking this statement as yet another metaphor whereby a physical thing pictures a spiritual reality (after so many such things in John’s gospel).

    Eisegesis would be saying that “my body” means “my body, blood, spirit, and divinity.”

    -TurretinFan

  91. TurretinFan said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    David H. wrote:

    The Chief Rabbi of Rome, likely a superior scholar in Judaism than Edersheim converted to the Catholic Church during WWII. That top Jewish scholar saw John 6 as Catholics do.

    What books on ancient Judaism did this unbeliever write? Or is your speculation just based on wishful thinking?

    -TurretinFan

  92. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    TFan,

    Do you think you would have a marriage before God if you willed that union by an inner devotion to the woman you love without the marriage ritual? Wouldn’t that be true because you are already emotionally tied to and committed to that person? Or do you believe that the actual ceremony effected the union and made it actually true? If so… congratualtions you are a sacramentalist because you believe the sign or rite actually effects the reality before God and without it… no union ever existed.

    Now take that beliefe to the Eucharist (and Baptism) and you will have consistent biblical theology of the Sacraments. The rite effects our union with Christ as his bride.

  93. David H. said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Tfan,

    What unbeliever?

    If you mean the Rabbi Zolli, a believer if ever there was one… the answer is obvious. He became Catholic didn’t he? I didn’t realize the Chief Rabbi of Rome was required to be published to have knowledge.

  94. steve hays said,

    December 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    David H. said,

    “And what happened when he blessed the fish and loaves with identical language? They multiplied to feed his disciples. Just like the Eucharist! And what happened when he prayed this blessing with the Emmaeus disciples? The recognized him in this act. The multiplying of the fish and loaves is tied directly, as you pointed out, to the establishing of the Sacrament of the Eucharist.”

    i) Are bread and fish the communion elements? I thought bread and wine are the communion elements.

    ii) Your argument self-destructs. The Eucharist wasn’t instituted by the sea of Galilee, when Jesus fed the 5000 thousand. That happened at the Last Supper, remember?

    Are you turning Jn 6 into a figurative allegory of the Last Supper?

    iii) And blessing food before you ate was hardly distinctive to communion.

    “So please tell me why he would emphasize, with a truly truly, that his flesh was TRUE food and his bloood TRUE drink? This was the point I was trying make (which was, I admit, sloppy). Jesus was not prone to Clintonisms. He said ‘true’ because he meant ‘true’.”

    For some odd reason you equate “true” with “literal.” Do you think that when Jesus tells parables, he is uttering falsehoods?

    It’s simply bizarre for you to suggest that “true” is to literal as false is to figurative. That’s the implicit contrast you’re creating here.

    Of course, if something was meant to be taken literally, then it can’t be true unless it’s literally true. But just to preface a statement with “truly” is not a rhetorical marker of literality.

    What is true is true in terms of the genre. The Psalms and prophets are replete with poetic imagery. Are they lying?

    “‘True’ means ‘true’. Not some like ‘true’…only totally different. ;-)”

    That’s a straw man. Metaphors aren’t “totally different.” Metaphors are figurative analogies.

  95. TurretinFan said,

    December 2, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    David H.

    You wrote:

    Do you think you would have a marriage before God if you willed that union by an inner devotion to the woman you love without the marriage ritual? Wouldn’t that be true because you are already emotionally tied to and committed to that person? Or do you believe that the actual ceremony effected the union and made it actually true? If so… congratualtions you are a sacramentalist because you believe the sign or rite actually effects the reality before God and without it… no union ever existed.

    Now take that beliefe to the Eucharist (and Baptism) and you will have consistent biblical theology of the Sacraments. The rite effects our union with Christ as his bride.

    That’s an interesting topic, but irrelevant to our dialog here – except to the points that both Marriage and Baptism are rich with symbol and metaphor – whether or not there is any sacramental efficacy. Sacramental efficacy is an interesting topic, but transubstantiation is the topic we’re discussing.

    - TurretinFan

  96. TurretinFan said,

    December 2, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    David H. wrote:

    What unbeliever?

    If you mean the Rabbi Zolli, a believer if ever there was one… the answer is obvious. He became Catholic didn’t he? I didn’t realize the Chief Rabbi of Rome was required to be published to have knowledge.

    Yes, being chief rabbi of Rome (of whatever sect he was “chief rabbi”) doesn’t make one an expert in ancient Judaism. I take from your answer that you just assumed expertise based on his seemingly exalted title.

    -TurretinFan

  97. D. T. King said,

    December 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    TurretinFan notes: That’s an interesting topic, but irrelevant to our dialog here – except to the points that both Marriage and Baptism are rich with symbol and metaphor – whether or not there is any sacramental efficacy. Sacramental efficacy is an interesting topic, but transubstantiation is the topic we’re discussing.

    TurretinFan has taken note of what I call technique #6 in my top ten list of Roman apologetic techniques . . . It goes like this: “#6. Bait and Switch technique – If your apologetic is being shot down repeatedly, it is because you are staying on one topic for too long. In the Roman apologetics arena, it is always a good idea to present a moving target.”

  98. Tom Riello said,

    December 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    The following is a wonderful little post concerning some of what is currently being discussed.

    http://gkupsidedown.blogspot.com/2010/12/clear-and-simple-scripture.html

  99. paigebritton said,

    December 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Jeff #43–
    …the point is that there is a difference between ordinary items with extraordinary significance, and extraordinary (magic-ish) items.

    Thanks for this, and for your comments on marriage as ordinary-made-extraordinary (v. marriage as ordinary-made-sacramental). Yes, this is my point: in so many areas of Catholic theology, the ordinary is not enough. In contrast, there is a simplicity to the biblical faith, so that the extraordinary is located in God’s actions through things and people, not in the things and people themselves.

    Again, I am struck by the frequent reappearance of this theme of the “transformed ordinary” in Catholic thought, and its absence from (most) Protestant thought.

    (And you are also quite right that it’s difficult to put this idea into words!)

  100. paigebritton said,

    December 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    David H. –
    I’m not ignoring you but I gotta go make dinner. I’ll address your #31 later sometime.
    pax,
    Paige B.

  101. David H said,

    December 2, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Steve,

    You are missing the point. Luke, for example, is uniting these seperate miracles based on the blessing, which reached it’s summit at the Last Supper. It forms a biblical theme. Feeding and miraculous multiplication of the food… Christ revealed in the blessing… bread and wine becoming his body and blood… in all these cases he broke the bread and gave thanks. There is a clear thematic building to the Last Supper. and connection. Luke knew what he was writing.

    As for ‘true’ always being literal, I never said that. But in this case, one has to have a presuppositional bias to make it not literal. It is the most obvious reading of the text and that is why it vexes so many protestants. I used to share those biases as well. But the explanations never seemed the most plausible and in fact it is quite tortured.

    Whenever a sacramental text seems to be saying something obvious that is when some protestants become non-literalists. Ironically, while accusing liberals of doing this with much of scripture. So “rise and be baptized and wash away your sins” becomes non-literal and the text gets tortured. Water doesn’t really means water in John 3 despite all the surrounding texts about baptism. Partaking in an unworthy manner makes one guilty of the body and blood of the Lord (makes no sense if it is a metaphor) and the list goes on.

    Someday, for some of you, twisting these texts beyond all reasonable recognition is going to start wearing thin and the selective literalism will give way to truly letting scripture speak. Not to say you are willfully twising them. But you are buying in to those who do simply because you trust them based in common sect affiliation. Let God be true and every man a liar. True of letting God speak in His word.

    Have a good evening.

  102. steve hays said,

    December 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    David H said,

    “You are missing the point. Luke, for example, is uniting these seperate miracles based on the blessing, which reached it’s summit at the Last Supper. It forms a biblical theme. Feeding and miraculous multiplication of the food… Christ revealed in the blessing… bread and wine becoming his body and blood… in all these cases he broke the bread and gave thanks. There is a clear thematic building to the Last Supper. and connection. Luke knew what he was writing.”

    i) Of course, you like to focus on the similarities at the expense of the dissimilarities. For instance, the feeding of the 5000 has fish and bread rather than wine and bread. Moreover, there’s nothing analogous to the miraculous multiplication of food in the Lukan account of the Last Supper.

    ii) There is no wine mentioned in the Emmaus account. There’s nothing in the account to distinguish this meal from a fellowship meal (e.g. Acts 2:46) rather than communion.

    And, of course, it’s not as if Jesus was hidden beneath the accidental species of bread.

    iii) This can hardly represent a sequential build-up to the Last Supper when the Last Supper is book-ended between the feeing of the five thousand and the Emmaus account. Rather, that would make the Emmaus account the climactic event in the series.

    iv) The statement that Luke knew what he was doing is just a gratuitous swipe, since no one here denies that. The question at issue is not *whether* he knew what he was doing, but *what* he was doing.

    “As for ‘true’ always being literal, I never said that. But in this case, one has to have a presuppositional bias to make it not literal. It is the most obvious reading of the text and that is why it vexes so many protestants. I used to share those biases as well. But the explanations never seemed the most plausible and in fact it is quite tortured. Whenever a sacramental text seems to be saying something obvious that is when some protestants become non-literalists.”

    Of course, that’s not a real argument. All you’ve done, and you’ve been doing this all along, is to string together self-serving, question-begging adjectives about what’s “obvious” and “tortured” and “plausible” and “biased.”

    But adjectives are sorry substitutes for arguments. You’re not entitled to those adjectives. Those would only be warranted at the conclusion of a suitable argument. Since you can’t make an exegetical case for your claims, you resort to rhetorical padding.

    “Ironically, while accusing liberals of doing this with much of scripture.”

    If you want to go down that road, why don’t we talk about how Benedict XVI interprets Genesis 1.

    “So ‘rise and be baptized and wash away your sins’ becomes non-literal and the text gets tortured. Water doesn’t really means water in John 3 despite all the surrounding texts about baptism. Partaking in an unworthy manner makes one guilty of the body and blood of the Lord (makes no sense if it is a metaphor) and the list goes on.”

    Here’s another one of your tactics. Since you can’t really defend your prooftext, you fling a number of miscellanous passages in our face, the way Allied bombers dumped tinfoil strips to jam the German radar.

    Yes, the list “goes on”–since you don’t really care what they mean. You don’t care enough to roll up your sleeves and do the spadework of actually exegeting them. Instead, you put your effort into rattling off prejudicial smears to poison the reader against Protestant exegesis before the reader has even studied it.

    “Someday, for some of you, twisting these texts beyond all reasonable recognition is going to start wearing thin and the selective literalism will give way to truly letting scripture speak. Not to say you are willfully twising them. But you are buying in to those who do simply because you trust them based in common sect affiliation. Let God be true and every man a liar. True of letting God speak in His word.”

    Having lost the argument, you cover your retreat in a volley of triumphalist rhetoric. Yeah, that’s really convincing.

    One of your defense mechanisms is to psychoanalyze the motives of your interlocutors. While there’s sometimes a place for that, it cuts both ways. I could just as well surmise that you have a deep emotional investment in sacramental realism. That’s your shortcut to Jesus. This is why you dodge all the evidence you can’t handle, and take refuge in these cheap gimmicks.

  103. David H said,

    December 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Steve,

    “One of your defense mechanisms is to psychoanalyze the motives of your interlocutors”

    Didn’t you just spend the entire post doing this to me?

    I offered exegesis, you just disagree. That is fine. It is not like I have never spent time exegetic a passage or reading those smarter than me in commentaries etc. But this is a combox. I found some of your exegesis flawed and simplistic and some of it clever. But just because you laid out certain thought in an a.b.c. order doesn’t mean your exegesis was complete or thorough (not saying mine was either) and it left me unconvinced.

    Just because I offer an opinion does not mean I was ignoring or acknowledging that I agreed to an exegetical battle since I was trying to answer multiple people. And I was not being triumphalistic. I just was expressing my hope that you will consider some things I said and not dismiss them outright.

    But I can tell you have grown annoyed with me and I do not wish to be an annoyance. I would be happy to continue here or in private, but I will not continue if it only serves to aggrevate.

    I honestly appreciate the Reformed and all Reformed Theology has meant to me over the years. The blessings were huge. Certainly I have not tossed all that is wonderful and good in Reformedom. It is a myth that one tosses all that is holy and good from their previous tradition when they become Catholic. I never stopped trusting in Christ alone as my savior and I love my Reformed brothers.

    I am sorry for coming across as offensive in any way. Please let me know if you wish to continue and we perhaps approach it differently.

  104. paigebritton said,

    December 2, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    David H. (#31) –
    Earlier I mentioned a handful of Catholic doctrines that, in contrast to the Protestant version of the story, involved such an extraordinary transformation of the ordinary that the ordinary was lost or dismissed. I think you answered by trying briefly to explain why each of the Catholic doctrines is true?

    But my point was, that this is a major difference between Catholic and Protestant theology: In Protestant theology, the ordinary is not believed to be changed in order for God to do his supernatural work; while in Catholic theology, in these and in other doctrines, the ordinary is in one way or another supernaturally changed:

    E.g., the Catholic Mary is herself immaculately conceived — that’s not an “ordinary Jewish woman,” a sinner in need of saving, right?

    E.g., in the Catholic Mass, the bread becomes Body and the wine becomes Blood — they are no longer bread and wine, right?

    E.g., Catholics must understand Scripture through the lens of the magisterium, which is supernaturallly endowed with the ability to interpret correctly — that’s not reading the Scripture with “due use of ordinary means,” right?

    E.g., Catholics know their canon because the divinely appointed infallible magisterium has identified it for them — that’s not relying on the ordinary, God-ordained events that led at the end of the apostolic age to the identification of the inspired books, right?

    Can we at least agree there is not only a difference of content between our doctrines, but a difference of category? That is, the Catholic doctrines mentioned above (and we could put a few more into the basket) all involve an elevation or transformation of ordinary things or people into something extraordinary, while the Protestant doctrinal counterparts just let the ordinary things be ordinary.

    It is the difference of category that interests me here: sure, each of the doctrines can be individually defended and argued about; but taken as a group, this means that Catholic theology is making a larger statement about God and the way he works.

    And especially given the historically late, extra-biblical nature of these dogmas, we have to protest that the Catholic conclusions re. God’s use of means do not as a group reflect the nature of the biblical God we know (and, given D. T. King’s excellent examples in #59, we are in good company).

  105. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 2, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    “As for ‘true’ always being literal, I never said that. But in this case, one has to have a presuppositional bias to make it not literal

    David H – But you are now equating “true” with “literal” in this case, correct? I’ve heard Catholics try to do this before and it puzzles me a little. We Protestants believe that Christ’s body and bread are true food and drink like you do. He really and truly feeds us through this sacrament. So given this belief of ours, how would Christ be feeding us more truly and really if we believed that the bread and wine were transformed into the physical body and blood of Christ? And to bring it back to the central thrust of this thread, I see no reason why the ordinary elements cannot convey the blessings promised by Christ every bit as well as His actual body.

    And sort of related to this, are we not looking for spiritual blessings rather than physical blessings when we partake of the communion? I don’t at all want to be accused of being a Nestorian here, but we are not looking to become more physically like Christ, but more spiritually like Him, correct? So why the necessity of eating his physical body?

    I think you are being a little too dogmatic (no pun intended) in your discussion here. After all, transubstantiation was hotly debated in the Church even up to the 12th century. The Lateran conciliar pronouncements obviously ended the debate, but I wanted to point out that there was no shortage of highly intelligent Catholic scholars who argued strenuously against the idea that the bread and wine were literally transformed into His body.

    One of the Scholastic sacramental debates that always interested was that over what Christ was feeding His disciples at the Last Supper. The question for them was, since Christ’s body was standing right there in front of the disciples, how could He be feeding them His body in the bread? As I remember it was Bonaventure who concluded that this was just a mystery that could not be fathomed. Anyway, it’s definitely an interesting question. An even more entertaining Scholastic debate was over whether a mouse would have grace conferred to it if it ate some of the consecrated host. I think the Scholastic scholars sometimes had too much time on their hands!

  106. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 3, 2010 at 6:22 am

    I guess my fundamental objections to transubstantiation are two:

    (1) First, I cannot see how the substance of Christ’s body can be in multiple places at once, without confusing the human and divine.

    (2) Second, I don’t actually believe in the substance/accident distinction. To my mind, it is not merely “miraculous” but “nonsensical” to say that an object can have *all* of the accidents of bread and wine but actually be the substance of something else.

    (we recall that in chemistry, two substances are said to be the same if they have identical properties in every respect)

    So David H, how do you deal with (1), and do you believe that Aristotle’s substance/accident distinction is part of the Catholic faith?

  107. steve hays said,

    December 3, 2010 at 8:01 am

    David,

    The basic problem is that you resort to a hermeneutic of suspicion when dealing with Protestants. You don’t even give the argument a fair hearing because you preemptively discredit any argument we have to offer. Dialogue is useless if you’re going to discount whatever we say ahead of time. Why do you even come here if that’s your modus operandi? I could patiently work through your “list,” but what’s the point if you’re going to dismiss whatever I say in advance of the argument? And not just me.

    Frankly, I don’t think you even grasp what I mean by a “metaphor.” You seem to equate a metaphor with a purely literary device that has no extratextual analogue. That’s true of some metaphors, but not all.

    For instance, to say that a ritual is symbolic is not to say that one doesn’t perform a real ritual; rather, the significance of the ritual is symbolic.

    Let’s just touch on your examples:

    i) “So ‘rise and be baptized and wash away your sins’ becomes non-literal and the text gets tortured.”

    a) What do you mean by “non-literal”? Except for the Salvation Army, no one denies the reference to water baptism. So that’s not the issue.

    The issue is whether water baptism is a real channel for the remission of sins, or an emblem for the remission of sins.

    b) Those who regard the connection as emblematic don’t do so just because they have an antecedent objection to sacramental realism. Rather, they think the sacramentalist interpretation is inconsistent with the fact that there are many passages of Scripture where the remission of sin is independent of baptism. It’s a concern for having a consistent overall position. There’s nothing disreputable about that concern.

    c) In addition, it’s not as if the church of Rome has the inside track on this verse. Your denomination doesn’t regard baptism as a prerequisite for salvation. Your denomination has created many loopholes to make room for the salvation of the unbaptized. So don’t act as if someone like me is guilty of special pleading.

    ii) ” Water doesn’t really means water in John 3 despite all the surrounding texts about baptism.”

    But that’s a very lopsided appeal, for you suppress surrounding texts (Jn 4; Jn 7) that employ aquatic metaphors for spiritual renewal. Moreover, the OT also uses aquatic metaphors for spiritual renewal, some of which are probably feeding into the Johannine imagery.

    iii) BTW, it would be odd if Jesus were teaching baptismal regeneration in v5 when in v8, he teaches the independence of the Spirit’s action. For if baptismal regeneration were the case, then the agency of the Spirit is far from discretionary. To the contrary, the agency of the Spirit is standardized.

    iv) “Partaking in an unworthy manner makes one guilty of the body and blood of the Lord (makes no sense if it is a metaphor) and the list goes on.”

    That has nothing to do with the real presence. In context, some of the Corinthians profane Christ by profaning his people. That’s the connection.

    I could go into more detail on all of this, but you haven’t demonstrated the patience for detailed analysis.

  108. louis said,

    December 3, 2010 at 9:43 am

    “that’s a very lopsided appeal, for you suppress surrounding texts (Jn 4; Jn 7) that employ aquatic metaphors for spiritual renewal. Moreover, the OT also uses aquatic metaphors for spiritual renewal, some of which are probably feeding into the Johannine imagery.”

    Ezekiel 36:25-26, for example, if that hasn’t already been pointed out. But David H. doesn’t appear genuinely interested in context, exegesis, or even a fair consideration of the biblical issues for that matter. Although I do appreciate his continued belief in the perspicuity of scripture.

  109. louis said,

    December 3, 2010 at 10:18 am

    By the way, Nicodemus should have been familiar with the language of being “born again”, which is used in John 3. The Jews said that proselytes were born again, or become like new born children. But they thought of this in terms of the proselyte taking upon himself the Law and the Kingdom of God. What Christ is saying, and what Nicodemus cannot grasp, is that one cannot see the Kingdom of God in the first place unless he is born again. One does not renovate or renew oneself. Rather, one is washed clean and regenerated by God. Ergo, to be born again is to be born from above, of water and spirit, ala Ezek.36. Baptism itself is a sign and seal of this.

  110. Phil Derksen said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:03 am

    ****A TOTAL ASIDE HERE***

    Is that snow, dandruff, or perhaps something else …?

  111. steve hays said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:14 am

    David H said,

    “Someday, for some of you, twisting these texts beyond all reasonable recognition is going to start wearing thin and the selective literalism will give way to truly letting scripture speak. Not to say you are willfully twising them. But you are buying in to those who do simply because you trust them based in common sect affiliation. Let God be true and every man a liar. True of letting God speak in His word. Have a good evening.”

    No doubt some percentage of Protestants fit that psychological profile. However, that’s a self-incriminating charge on the lips of a Roman Catholic. At least where Protestants are concerned, our principial adherence to the primacy of Scripture means that Scripture can always overrule one’s “common sect affiliation” and let Scripture speak for itself.

    The same cannot be said for observant Roman Catholics. As a matter of principle (as well as practice), their “common sect affiliation” dictates what the Bible is allowed to affirm or deny. Rome speaks for Scripture.

  112. greenbaggins said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Phil, it’s snow. I usually have it on the blog around this time of year when WordPress makes it available.

  113. Phil Derksen said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Got it, Rev. My post was actually just a weak attempt at some “flaky” humor on my part. (I actually think it’s pretty cool..)

  114. TurretinFan said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:32 am

    David H. wrote: “I offered exegesis, you just disagree.”

    There was and is no exegetical basis for saying “this is my body” means “this is my body, blood, soul, and divinity.”

    That’s not even a possible exegesis of the text. It’s not a close call. There’s nothing about an accidents/substance distinction in the text, and the only way to get it into the text is to smuggle it in.

    It’s situations like these that force RCs to turn to saying that they don’t get everything from the Bible alone.

    -TurretinFan

  115. steve hays said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:40 am

    greenbaggins said,

    “Phil, it’s snow.”

    And here I thought it was an eschatological meteor shadow, viz. a fateful harbinger of the impending end of the world next year (according to Camping’s timetable).

  116. Ron said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:46 am

    That’s not even a possible exegesis of the text. It’s not a close call. There’s nothing about an accidents/substance distinction in the text, and the only way to get it into the text is to smuggle it in.

    TF, but you’re forgetting about the verily-verily clause that may be applied selectively at will without warrant or shame.

  117. Phil Derksen said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:49 am

    #115: LOL!

    BTW, ever notice how the snow always falls towards wherever the cursor (or “blesser” as I prefer to call it) is on your screen?

  118. steve hays said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Correction: that should read meteor shower.

  119. Ron said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Phil, I hadn’t notice that. You must have more free time than me. :)

  120. Phil Derksen said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Or, maybe I’m just more observant…? :)

  121. greenbaggins said,

    December 3, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Yeah, it’s a little different this year. I noticed about the mouse cursor as well. Furthermore, it’s definitely lighter snow that other years. This is probably due to complaints about how much more time it takes to pull up long posts with lots of comments.

  122. Ron said,

    December 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Or, maybe I’m just more observant…? :)

    A bat is more observant than I. :)

  123. steve hays said,

    December 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    David H said,

    “Partaking in an unworthy manner makes one guilty of the body and blood of the Lord (makes no sense if it is a metaphor) and the list goes on.”

    Just as a test-case, how literal is the Catholic interpretation? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that the “body” in 11:29 denotes the consecrated communion elements rather than the Christian fellowship.

    What is there for the communicant to literally discern? Well, the literally discernible properties of the bread and wine are the sensible, empirical, phenomenal properties. The taste, texture, sight, and scent.

    But the Catholic interpretation upends this. According to the Catholic interpretation, the unworthy communicant brings condemnation on himself because he failed to discern the (literally) indiscernible properties of the “Host.” He failed to detect the indetectable “true body and blood” of Christ hidden underneath the accidental properties. He failed to perceive the invisible, intangible, tasteless, scentless body and blood of Christ, which are further obscured by secondary properties of bread and wine. And for that he’s culpable–culpable because he failed to perceive the imperceptible.

    Yet that’s supposed to represent the “literal” interpretation of the text, unlike those closet liberal Protestants who “twist” the “obviously” import of the text. That’s supposedly let’s the text “speak for itself.”

  124. David H. said,

    December 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Hi Paige: (#104)

    “Earlier I mentioned a handful of Catholic doctrines that, in contrast to the Protestant version of the story, involved such an extraordinary transformation of the ordinary that the ordinary was lost or dismissed. I think you answered by trying briefly to explain why each of the Catholic doctrines is true?”

    I don’t recall answering in that way specifically but I may be wrong. Lots of responses to lots of people yesterday.

    “But my point was, that this is a major difference between Catholic and Protestant theology: In Protestant theology, the ordinary is not believed to be changed in order for God to do his supernatural work; while in Catholic theology, in these and in other doctrines, the ordinary is in one way or another supernaturally changed”

    I will address them one by one. But I did make the point that you seem to be demanding that it must be either/or. I am saying it is both/and. God sometimes transforms the natural into the supernatural – think of the Lord’s resurrected body as one example – and our future glorified bodies. In fact this will be the case with all of creation after the Eschaton. That there is are glimpses of it in this life should not be problematic for Protestants.

    “E.g., the Catholic Mary is herself immaculately conceived — that’s not an “ordinary Jewish woman,” a sinner in need of saving, right?”

    She needed saving but God chose a unique chronology in applying Christ’s merits to her. She needed a Savior, but the Ark of the Covenant also needs to be a pure vessel. Mary is the ultimate Ark so it is not beyond God’s ability to apply Christ’s merits obtained on the cross at the time of her conception. Similar to the way OT saints were saved only for her it took place at her creation. From a logical perspective it is fitting. It is also fitting with what we know about the character of God and what the OT tells us about that which contains the presence of God to be undefiled (The Ark of the Covenant , the Temple).

    And really is there nothing unique about Mary?

    “E.g., in the Catholic Mass, the bread becomes Body and the wine becomes Blood — they are no longer bread and wine, right?”

    You cannot fault Catholics on the one hand for not taking scripture literally (within genres of course) on the one hand and then for taking it literally on the other. I mean Jesus did say this is my body and this is my blood. So that is what the element become at the words of institution.

    “E.g., Catholics must understand Scripture through the lens of the magisterium, which is supernaturallly endowed with the ability to interpret correctly — that’s not reading the Scripture with “due use of ordinary means,” right?”

    Again, this is not an either/or thing as you suppose. It is a both/and. Of course God put a Church here to authoritatively interpret scripture. In Protestantism you can never know for sure. I realize you can have a reasonable understanding of the more clear texts, but even then whose understanding? Calvins? Luthers? Wesleys? The church has not dogmatized on every text. VII encourages the laity to study scripture. And really, all Protestants who are in the magesterial tradition rely on a level of authoritative interpretation as well. Otherwise you would not need the WCF, the Blegic Confession, Calvin’s Institutes etc. The difference being is that your authorities are only as good as your subscription to their confessions.

    “E.g., Catholics know their canon because the divinely appointed infallible magisterium has identified it for them — that’s not relying on the ordinary, God-ordained events that led at the end of the apostolic age to the identification of the inspired books, right?”

    That is history. You have your cannon from the same councils, the difference is that the deuterocanonicals were removed. But you would have no canon the Church did not determine it infallibly. As with our common definition of the Trinity and the hypostatic union, you take for granted the Church that past these defined doctrines on (yes I know they were based on scripture) but that does not change the fact that you subscribe to extra-scriptural understandings of them.

    Now of course the various books of scripture were read in the churches to greater and lesser degrees and several that are not in the Canon as well prior to the council(s). However, it took the Bishops in council to compile the canon, and to determine which books were canonical. The laity excepted this judgement. As do all Protestant (minus the deuteros) whether they choose to acknowledge this reliance or not. And of course the Church used ordinary means to some extent to identify and dognmatize the canon. But would you not agree that it was a Holy Spirit led endeavor?

    “Can we at least agree there is not only a difference of content between our doctrines, but a difference of category? That is, the Catholic doctrines mentioned above (and we could put a few more into the basket) all involve an elevation or transformation of ordinary things or people into something extraordinary, while the Protestant doctrinal counterparts just let the ordinary things be ordinary.”

    We can agree to some extent. But there are Protestants whose views are more Catholic than Reformed. Many Anglicans would fall into this category as well as some Methodists and Lutherans.

    “It is the difference of category that interests me here: sure, each of the doctrines can be individually defended and argued about; but taken as a group, this means that Catholic theology is making a larger statement about God and the way he works.”

    Agreed.

    “And especially given the historically late, extra-biblical nature of these dogmas, we have to protest that the Catholic conclusions re. God’s use of means do not as a group reflect the nature of the biblical God we know (and, given D. T. King’s excellent examples in #59, we are in good company).”

    I did not read Rev. King’s examples because he lost me with his condescending comments earlier. Plus, I have learned quickly that he expends a tremendous amount of energy proof texting Fathers who he knows disagree with him on the sacraments, ecclesiology etc. Anyone who reads Augustine and Ignatius etc. know they had are far more Catholic than Rev. King’s out of context quotes would lead people to believe.

    I will take issue with your claim of the extra-biblical nature. If you mean the specific dogmas okay. But if you mean the idea that God does not make matter sacred you would have to ignore much scripture. The Temple, the Holy of Holies, The Ark of the Covenant all fit better into a Catholic worldview than a Protestant one. Your view has no place for the Ark or the Temple or the Tebernacle prior to the Temple. And that is not biblical.

    Plus, like all dogmas, they are not defined as dogmas until controversy or heresy requires the Church to lay down the law (so to speak). You will not find a specific scripture or scripture clearly articulation the hypostatic union for example. But you surely would not consider someone a Christian who denied it.

  125. Reed Here said,

    December 3, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    David, no lengthy comments, but I find it fascinating that you argue for the uniqueness of Mary on the basis solely of RCC doctrine. Nothing you argued about her uniqueness is even remotely what the Bible teaches.

    The ark metaphor has got to be one of the worst twistings I’ve seen. Jesus IS the Ark, not Mary. I.e., the Bible does not make a metaphorical use of Noah’s ark for Mary’s carrying Jesus, but for Jesus’s carrying us.

    It is not good form to argue for a uniqueness that is man-determined. If that is the standard, then anything anyone want to claim is unique … and then everything is ordinary again.

  126. TurretinFan said,

    December 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    David H. wrote:

    I did not read Rev. King’s examples because he lost me with his condescending comments earlier. Plus, I have learned quickly that he expends a tremendous amount of energy proof texting Fathers who he knows disagree with him on the sacraments, ecclesiology etc. Anyone who reads Augustine and Ignatius etc. know they had are far more Catholic than Rev. King’s out of context quotes would lead people to believe.

    This is the kind of ignorance that is incurable. He admits he didn’t read what Pastor King wrote, but then he claims that the quotations were taken out of context. That kind of ignorance is truly incorrigible.

    Reed: one minor note. He was trying to say that Mary was the Ark of the Covenant, not Noah’s ark. I’m not sure if you misunderstood him. The idea of Mary being the ark of the covenant is simply wishful thinking.

    Like Noah’s ark, the Ark of the Covenant is a type of Christ, not of Mary.

    We have Biblical warrant for our typology, they have wishful thinking for theirs. So be it. Folks like David H. who won’t read rebuttals to their errors are (unless God intervenes) hopeless fools who will never come to the truth.

    -TurretinFan

  127. Tom Riello said,

    December 3, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Reed,

    If one reads the travel narrative of the Ark in 2nd Samuel 6 with the travel of Mary to Elizabeth, it does appear that Luke is, by use of typology, making the case that there is a connection of the Ark with Mary. You may want to read Scott Hahn’s work, Hail, Holy Queen for a good treatment on this.

  128. Ron said,

    December 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    If one reads the travel narrative of the Ark in 2nd Samuel 6 with the travel of Mary to Elizabeth, it does appear that Luke is, by use of typology, making the case that there is a connection of the Ark with Mary. You may want to read Scott Hahn’s work, Hail, Holy Queen for a good treatment on this.

    Hmmm, yea deep man, real deep…psychedelic, shrooms… analogy, yeah, got it, good, thanks.

  129. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 3, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Just for the record, the ark narrative in 1 Sam 6 does not compare well at all. :)

  130. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 3, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Tom, I have to say that 2 Sam 6 doesn’t jump out as an obvious parallel, either. The strongest connection I can find is

    Luke 1.43: But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

    2 Sam 6.9: David was afraid of the LORD that day and said, “How can the ark of the LORD ever come to me?”

    But that’s pretty generic. As to the rest, the narrative elements in 2 Sam 6 are entirely missing — Uzzah, or David dancing before the Lord (note that in the quote above, Elizabeth parallels David, but she’s not dancing. We might take John’s womb flip as a kind of dance, but then where’s Michal?)

    So the plot doesn’t work well.

    But there’s more: in 2 Sam 6, the ark comes to David in order to establish the validity of his kingship, with the result that the Lord promises him an everlasting house (2 Sam 7); whereas, in Luke 1, Mary comes to Elizabeth so that Elizabeth can confirm the promise of the angel, with the result that Mary praises the Lord — not for establishing her own house, but for fulfilling the covenant to Abraham.

    So at this point I am not prepared to accept the idea that Luke is paralleling Mary to the ark. Yes: she the Lord dwells in her for a time. But that’s thin.

    It’s certainly not thick enough to prove something like perpetual virginity.

  131. Sean said,

    December 3, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    jeff.

    The regions in the narratives are the same and how long does Mary stay with Elizabeth? How long does the Ark stay with David?

    What’s more…What does the Ark carry? The manna from heaven, the law and Aaron’s staff.

    What does Mary carry in her womb? The eucharist, the word and the priesthood.

    Word.

    Luke is dripping with typology.

  132. Sean said,

    December 3, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I did not read Rev. King’s examples because he lost me with his condescending comments earlier.

    And

    This is the kind of ignorance that is incurable. He admits he didn’t read what Pastor King wrote,

    The fact of the matter is that Rev King’s ‘style’ is a gigantic turn off. That is just a fact.

  133. steve hays said,

    December 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    David H said,

    “So please tell me why he would emphasize, with a truly truly, that his flesh was TRUE food and his bloood TRUE drink? This was the point I was trying make (which was, I admit, sloppy). Jesus was not prone to Clintonisms. He said ‘true’ because he meant ‘true’.”

    According to Roman Catholics, the consecrated communion elements are the true body and blood of Christ. Well, all I can say is that Roman Catholics have a rather distinctive definition of a true body with true blood.

    This is a “true” body without measurable height, shape, or weight. A true body without perceptible warmth, scent, solidity, or texture. A “true” body without observable head, neck or torso; arms, legs, eyes, ears, lips, nose, fingers, toes, fingernails, toenails, hair, skin, or pigment. A true body without detectible heart, brain, lungs, bones, viscera, genitalia, kidneys, stomach, bladder, liver, nerves, veins, muscles, tendons, ligaments, or joints.

    True blood without discernible type, color or volume, white cells, red cells, antibodies, electrolytes, or platelets.

    In sum, a “true” body which is, by each and every comparative index, systematically indistinguishable from a nonexistent body. A real presence that coincides at every single point with a real absence, by any measurable criterion. Yet this is “obviously,” indeed “unambiguously,” the “literal” understanding of a “chewable,” “gnawable” body.

    By Catholic standards, what’s the difference between an empty box and a full box?

    “Whenever a sacramental text seems to be saying something obvious that is when some protestants become non-literalists. Ironically, while accusing liberals of doing this with much of scripture.”

    Actually, I can only imagine that liberals would be delighted to apply the Roman Catholic definition of a “true body” to the bodily resurrection of Christ. A bodily resurrection that’s thoroughly indistinguishable from a nonbodily resurrection.

  134. steve hays said,

    December 3, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Sean said,

    “What does Mary carry in her womb? The eucharist, the word and the priesthood.”

    So the Last Supper actually took place in the Upper Room of Mary’s womb. And her womb was large enough to accommodate the 12 disciples. Truly a miracle! Miniature disciples!

    If only Leonard Da Vinci had ultrasound to more accurately depict the prenatal, homuncular institution of the Eucharist.

    BTW, did the baptism of Christ take place in another one of Mary’s vital organs? A kidney, perchance? What about the Sermon on the Mount? Did that occur in Mary’s liver or spleen? What about St. Peter’s basilica? Is that located in Mary’s pituitary gland?

  135. Sean said,

    December 3, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    steve.

    Like any biblical typology, even the ones you accept, you can reduce it to the absurd.

    If you don’t understand the connection between the manna from heaven and the Holy Eucharist than you are truly to be pitied.

  136. Sean said,

    December 3, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Even Our Lord connects manna from heaven with the eucharist in John 6, explicitly.

  137. Tom Riello said,

    December 3, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Ron,

    You do crack me up. I don’t know if you’re just trying to be funny, joking around or just, well, let’s just say rude. I prefer to think the best so I will take it as just you having some fun.

  138. steve hays said,

    December 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Sean said,

    “Like any biblical typology, even the ones you accept, you can reduce it to the absurd.”

    I didn’t reduce biblical typology to absurdity. Rather, I reduced Sean Patrick’s typology to absurdity. (Or should I say Scott Hahn’s?)

    “If you don’t understand the connection between the manna from heaven and the Holy Eucharist than you are truly to be pitied.”

    To be pitied by Sean Patrick doesn’t affect my self-esteem one way or the other.

    “Even Our Lord connects manna from heaven with the eucharist in John 6, explicitly.”

    Which begs the very question in dispute. But, then, it would be totally out of character for Sean to present anything resembling a reasoned argument.

  139. steve hays said,

    December 3, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Sean said,

    “Like any biblical typology, even the ones you accept, you can reduce it to the absurd.”

    I don’t share Sean’s low opinion of biblical typology. The fact that his Marian typology of the Upper Womb is easily reducible to absurdity doesn’t mean the same thing can be said of Biblical typology.

  140. December 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Ron,

    You do crack me up. I don’t know if you’re just trying to be funny, joking around or just, well, let’s just say rude. I prefer to think the best so I will take it as just you having some fun.

    Tom,

    How can anyone take this analogy, but if you want to equate Mary to an ark of shittim wood then that’s your prerogative. It’s the testimony that was contained in the ark that was significant but isn’t it like Rome to confuse the symbol with the reality, as they do with bread, wine, water…

    Ron

  141. December 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Ron,

    You do crack me up. I don’t know if you’re just trying to be funny, joking around or just, well, let’s just say rude. I prefer to think the best so I will take it as just you having some fun.

    Tom,

    How can anyone take this analogy seriously, but if you want to equate Mary to an ark of shittim wood then that’s your prerogative. It’s the testimony that was contained in the ark that was significant but isn’t it like Rome to confuse the symbol with the reality, as they do with bread, wine, water…

    Ron

  142. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 3, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Sean: The regions in the narratives are the same

    At first, Judea. True. How great a significance do you give to this?

    Sean: …and how long does Mary stay with Elizabeth? How long does the Ark stay with David?

    Mary is 3 months with Elizabeth; the ark is with David much longer. Notice that the ark is in the house of Obed-Edom for three months, then it moves to Jerusalem and remains there with David.

    Sean: What does Mary carry in her womb? The eucharist, the word and the priesthood.

    …and the Son of David, and the final prophet, and many, many other titles. By the way, though Jesus is symbolically the Bread of Heaven, He is not “the eucharist” — that’s probably an over-reach, even from a Catholic point of view.

    The difficulty with typology is that unless it is subject to controls, it becomes a matter of confirmation bias. In the extreme case, we get things like A.W. Pink’s argument that the conquest of Jericho typologically signifies that only trained evangelists may share the gospel.

    Or The Bible Code.

    So my point is not to deny that there are any similarities whatsoever (for there are some!), but to ask, Was Luke intentionally drawing on these similarities to make a point about Mary? What features in the narrative help control our understanding of the similarities? What is the flow of the narrative, the point of the narrative, and how do these similarities fit into that point?

    It’s not enough to say — Look, similarities, so Perpetual Virginity! Not saying you are, necessarily; but I want us to agree that similarities are not enough.

  143. Tom Riello said,

    December 3, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Hey Ron,

    If you are interested, the following article does a good job of laying out the case.

    http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=6811&CFID=58979508&CFTOKEN=39398551

  144. Ron said,

    December 3, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Hey Ron,

    If you are interested, the following article does a good job of laying out the case.

    Tom, I hate to disappoint you but at best, all the mileage you’re going to get out of this is that Mary was the box in which the Ultimate Reality was contained. Protestants have a higher view of Mary than what you’re willing to settle for I’m afraid. Bottom line is, we know that Mary carried Jesus in her womb. Now what more would you like to make of that based upon the ark of the covenant? Was the ark assumed into Heaven?

    Ron

  145. Ron said,

    December 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    I can’t help of think of the movie “A few Good Men” when dealing with Romanists.

    Col. Jessep:Maybe he was an early riser and liked to pack in the morning. And maybe he didn’t have any friends. I’m an educated man, but I’m afraid I can’t speak intelligently about the travel habits of William Santiago. What I do know is that he was set to leave the base at 0600. Now, are these the questions I was really called here to answer? Phone calls and foot lockers? Please tell me that you have something more, Lieutenant. These two Marines are on trial for their lives. Please tell me their lawyer hasn’t pinned their hopes to a phone bill.

    Please tell me that you have something more, Tom. You’re on trial for your soul. Please tell you havne’t pinned your hopes on Mary and bad typology.

  146. steve hays said,

    December 3, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    David H said,

    “Someday, for some of you, twisting these texts beyond all reasonable recognition is going to start wearing thin and the selective literalism will give way to truly letting scripture speak. Not to say you are willfully twising them. But you are buying in to those who do simply because you trust them based in common sect affiliation. Let God be true and every man a liar. True of letting God speak in His word. Have a good evening.”

    Sean said,

    “What does Mary carry in her womb? The eucharist, the word and the priesthood.”

    Someday, for some of you papists, twisting these texts beyond all reasonable recognition is going to start wearing thin and the far-fetched typology will give way to truly letting scripture speak for itself. You are willfully twisting the Scriptures simply because you abode blind faith in the Pope. Let God be true and every man a liar. Have a good evening.

  147. Steve G. said,

    December 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    David said:

    “The Temple, the Holy of Holies, The Ark of the Covenant all fit better into a Catholic worldview than a Protestant one. Your view has no place for the Ark or the Temple or the Tabernacle prior to the Temple. And that is not biblical.”

    Those are all Old Testament, not New Testament. There’s no reason any of those should it into a NT view. You seem to forget what Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4. She contrasted Samaritan worship at Mt. Gerizim with Jewish worship at the Temple in Jerusalem. And what was Jesus response to her – none of it would soon matter any more:

    Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    We no longer need the Ark because God’s Word lives in our hearts. We no longer need the tabernacle because God is present with us through the Holy Spirit. We no longer need the Temple because there is no more sacrifice because of the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus.

    I think the Protestant view holds up quite well New Testament wise.

  148. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Tom,

    Thanks for posting the link. It did help me understand the case a bit better.

    I have a couple of questions and comments:

    (1) The article claims specific knowledge about the locations of Elizabeth (“Ein Kerem”) and Obed-Edom (“Abu Ghosh”) — how are these known?

    (2) The article draws the parallel between David’s approach of the ark (2 Sam 6.12ff.) and Elizabeth’s approach (Luke 1.41). Unfortunately, this is an awkward fit, considering that the ark was *leaving* Obed-Edom’s house at that time, while Mary was *entering* Elizabeth’s house at the other time.

    This isn’t a fatal objection, but it does show the looseness of the kind of reasoning here.

    (3) I would note in favor of your argument that αναφωνειν is used in conjunction with the ark in 1 Chron. 15.28 in the LXX, and only a few times elsewhere, all in association with worship.

    (4) The biggest objection, of course, is that typology does not typically point to the lesser but to the greater. Even were we to grant that Mary represents the ark typologically, the most obvious direction for Luke’s thoughts to be going is that Jesus is the new Bread from Heaven, not that Mary is the New Ark.

    What I mean is that when Jesus speaks of the “Son of Man being lifted up”, He wants to draw attention to the parallel between Himself and the bronze serpent. But that parallel doesn’t make the centurions who raised him up, into the New Moses.

    What I fear here is that the classic Protestant critique is true: by focusing on Mary as the ark, we begin to lose sight of the point of Luke’s gospel — Jesus is the God-Man.

    In fact, Mary figures very lightly throughout the Gospels; and not at all in the epistles. My concern is that RC theology has made too much of this very good woman, the humble hand-maiden of the Lord (who might be appalled, in my view, to learn that she was the “Queen of Heaven” or that she had never had relations with her devoted husband).

  149. Steve G. said,

    December 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Jeff said:

    “The difficulty with typology is that unless it is subject to controls, it becomes a matter of confirmation bias. In the extreme case, we get things like A.W. Pink’s argument that the conquest of Jericho typologically signifies that only trained evangelists may share the gospel.”

    Exactly. IMO typology is great for giving additional insight into something already known to be true. The problem for Catholics is that the about the only scriptural “proof” they have for many of their extra biblical doctrines is typology. But then at that point you can prove anything! I don’t believe you should use typology as your primary proof as Catholics do because it’s so subjective. Give me objective proof, then I’ll listen to your typology for additional insight. Maybe I’m wrong but that’s how I look at it.

  150. TurretinFan said,

    December 3, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    “The fact of the matter is that Rev King’s ‘style’ is a gigantic turn off. That is just a fact.”

    Actually, that’s an opinion, but don’t let me stand in the way of your private judgment!

    -TurretinFan

  151. TurretinFan said,

    December 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    The ark was the place of permanent storage of those items – not the place from which those items were brought forth. In contrast, Mary’s womb was the place from which the Incarnate Jesus emerged – never to return. A less apt type could hardly be imagined!

    It is in Christ that all those types rest and find their completion. Thus, Christ is the true Ark (not Mary). He is not just the rod that budded, the manna from heaven, and the law but he is the hilasmos – the propitiation. He is – not Mary.

    - TurretinFan

  152. D. T. King said,

    December 4, 2010 at 3:28 am

    Mr. H. said: I did not read Rev. King’s examples because he lost me with his condescending comments earlier. Plus, I have learned quickly that he expends a tremendous amount of energy proof texting Fathers who he knows disagree with him on the sacraments, ecclesiology etc. Anyone who reads Augustine and Ignatius etc. know they had are far more Catholic than Rev. King’s out of context quotes would lead people to believe.

    1) Given Mr. H.’s earlier claim to superiority in #21, I’m not sure how one can condescend to where he is.

    2) Yes, why spend a lot of energy proving your claims about “the fathers” when, after swimming the Tiber, one may simply “name it/claim it” and pronounce, “Metaphor was never understood in the Fathers.” Now, there’s true superiority! Just assume the elevated posture that is rightfully yours, because that’s what “never” means in the “never-never land” of Roman apologetics. Just give the robust defense of “out of context!” for every citation that doesn’t meet with your approval, while you enjoy the comfort of your elevated and robust superiority.

    3) Yes, anyone who reads Ignatius and Augustine knows they were Catholic; that is a “given.” What is not a “given” is that they were Romanists. But, when one lives in the “never-never land” of Roman apologetics, one need never worry about that! Proof is in the assertion, because gratuitous claims are one of the marks of of a robust Roman superiority! Just read the later development of transubstantiation back into all the early witnesses in the church. Simply ignore what primary and secondary sources, concerning the same, offer about the diversity of views. Just over-generalize with grandiose claims.

    It’s a Walter Mitty world! :)

  153. steve hays said,

    December 4, 2010 at 7:31 am

    The Marian typology we’ve been subjected to reminds me of a cautionary note by the late Harold Hoehner:

    “After reading Hoehner’s arguments on the death of Christ (Friday crucifixion, Nisan 14 or April 3, AD 33), I wrote to him and suggested that another argument that Jesus died on Nisan 14 and that he presented himself to the nation on Nisan 10 was that it fulfilled the typology of Exodus 12:1–6. To my surprise and delight, Hoehner wrote back! And he politely pointed out that my argument could only be brought in as tertiary evidence, for although Jesus did indeed fulfill the typology of the OT, as historians we must look at the evidence that is of a historical nature—that is, evidence that both Christians and non-Christians would embrace—and we must also recognize that typological fulfillment often went in various directions, preventing us from cherry-picking in support of a view. For example, Jesus was not a year old when he died; he was not killed by fire but by crucifixion, etc. In other words, typology can be used in a confirmatory manner for historical study, but not as primary or secondary evidence. It’s what one brings in when discussing the results of one’s investigation.”

    http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2008/12/harold-w-hoehner/

  154. Sean said,

    December 4, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Jeff-

    What I fear here is that the classic Protestant critique is true: by focusing on Mary as the ark, we begin to lose sight of the point of Luke’s gospel — Jesus is the God-Man.

    The Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have been giving high devotion to Mary for thousands of years and neither has ever abandoned the truth that Jesus is God. Proper devotion to Mary, in fact, is a foothold for orthodoxy. Churches that eventually abandon the tenant that Jesus is God did not do so because they loved Mary.

  155. Sean said,

    December 4, 2010 at 7:34 am

    The Unitarians, for example, were not former Catholics whose zeal for Mary went too far; they were the sons and daughters of Calvinists.

  156. David H said,

    December 4, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Reed:

    “David, no lengthy comments, but I find it fascinating that you argue for the uniqueness of Mary on the basis solely of RCC doctrine. Nothing you argued about her uniqueness is even remotely what the Bible teaches.”

    Of course I argue based in Catholic doctrine. Nothing in scripture says it has to explicitly spelled out in scripture. That is only a problem for Protestants. But that is a Sola Scriptura debate.

    “The ark metaphor has got to be one of the worst twistings I’ve seen. Jesus IS the Ark, not Mary. I.e., the Bible does not make a metaphorical use of Noah’s ark for Mary’s carrying Jesus, but for Jesus’s carrying us.”

    I would agree completely if I were referring to Noah’s Ark. But I was referring to the Ark of the Covenant.

    “It is not good form to argue for a uniqueness that is man-determined. If that is the standard, then anything anyone want to claim is unique … and then everything is ordinary again.”

    Don’t we all make a determination that Jesus is God? Her uniqueness is quite biblical. Blessed is she among women. All generations will call her blessed. etc.

  157. David H said,

    December 4, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Tfan:

    “We have Biblical warrant for our typology, they have wishful thinking for theirs”.

    Sean and Tom have already proven your assertion wrong.

    “Folks like David H. who won’t read rebuttals to their errors are (unless God intervenes) hopeless fools who will never come to the truth.”

    You are kidding right? I spent two days reading and responding to numerous people. When someone immediately attacks with dripping condescension it and appears to enjoy argument for arguments sake that is not worth engaging. Debate as blood sport is not Christian behavior.

    I am fool because I don’t agree with you (anymore). Got it.

  158. TurretinFan said,

    December 4, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Sean wrote:

    The Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have been giving high devotion to Mary for thousands of years and neither has ever abandoned the truth that Jesus is God. Proper devotion to Mary, in fact, is a foothold for orthodoxy. Churches that eventually abandon the tenant that Jesus is God did not do so because they loved Mary.

    The “thousands of years” claim is obviously false. It’s only 2010. And – of course – the claim is not that making Mary the de facto fourth person of the Trinity leads to an explicit denial of Jesus’ divinity.

    But we can add to that. What does Jesus himself tell us about who is mother is (in Christ’s theology – not Rome’s theology):

    Matthew 12:46-50
    While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

    Mark 3:20-35
    And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself. And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

    Luke 8:19-21
    Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

    But while the “thousands of years” number that Sean gave is just a dumb exaggeration, there were people even in Jesus’ time who gave an unhealthy devotion to Mary. Jesus got a chance to respond to one of them:

    Luke 11:27-28
    And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

    And – of course – his comments in Luke 11:27-28 fit right in with his other teachings about who his true mother and brethren are in contrast to his physical mother and brethren (sorry if the idea of Mary having children with her husband offends you).

    As for Sean’s little jab about Unitarians, from whom did Arians, Nestorians, Monethelites, and Gnostics come? Let him tell us that, and then we’ll take credit for the fact that some of our covenant children apostatized. It should be interesting to hear his answer, given his anachronistic perception that his church has been around for “thousands of years.”

    -TurretinFan

  159. David H said,

    December 4, 2010 at 8:23 am

    Rev. King:

    I will give you one response.

    “1) Given Mr. H.’s earlier claim to superiority in #21, I’m not sure how one can condescend to where he is.”

    #20 Rev. King:

    “”Only in Catholicism (and Orthodoxy) is there a completely robust and full sense of God’s ordinary providence.””

    Yes, we acknowledge your assertion of superiority. :)”

    #21 Me:

    “Yes that was my point exactly, David. Thank you for thoughtfully engaging my response. :)”

    I cannot believe your thinking is so poisoned by bias that you cannot recognize sarcasm. You are the only one who said I was saying I was superior. And it was baseless. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

    Your wooden literalism of my clearly tongue-in-cheek response explains alot about your (mis)reading of scripture and the fathers. That or you don’t mind using deception to try to diminish someone.

  160. steve hays said,

    December 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Sean said,

    “The Unitarians, for example, were not former Catholics whose zeal for Mary went too far; they were the sons and daughters of Calvinists.”

    The secularists in modern Spain and Italy weren’t former Calvinists whose opposition to Mariology went to far; they were sons and daughters of Catholics.

  161. steve hays said,

    December 4, 2010 at 8:29 am

    David H said,

    “Sean and Tom have already proven your assertion wrong.”

    Yes, I can see how Sean’s argument for the Upper Womb (rather than the Upper Room) is a definitive refutation of TFan’s claim.

  162. TurretinFan said,

    December 4, 2010 at 8:29 am

    David H.:

    I had written: “We have Biblical warrant for our typology, they have wishful thinking for theirs”.

    You replied: “Sean and Tom have already proven your assertion wrong.”

    No, they haven’t. They’ve demonstrated my point.

    I had written: “Folks like David H. who won’t read rebuttals to their errors are (unless God intervenes) hopeless fools who will never come to the truth.”

    You replied:

    You are kidding right? I spent two days reading and responding to numerous people. When someone immediately attacks with dripping condescension it and appears to enjoy argument for arguments sake that is not worth engaging. Debate as blood sport is not Christian behavior.

    No. I am not kidding. Recall that you yourself admitted that you didn’t read what Pastor King wrote. Your exact words were “I did not read Rev. King’s examples”. And then you went on to make an even greater fool of yourself by claiming that his examples were “out of context quotes” which (I should add) is not a true claim.

    You concluded: “I am fool because I don’t agree with you (anymore). Got it.”

    Not at all. You’re a fool because you refuse to listen, as I wrote. You’ll notice that there are others here who have disagreed with me, but only you and your “I did not read Rev. King’s examples” got this harsh censure from me.

    The fact that you are not willing to read his examples suggests to me that you’re not seeking the truth. After all, his examples were not his own creations – they were the writings of men whom your church purports to highly regard. But you don’t care what Pastor King says, you don’t care what the fathers say, and you don’t care what the Scriptures say – you just care what your church says.

    The proof is this: if you understand the Scriptures (or Pastor King or the fathers) to be saying “X” and your church to be saying “not X,” which do you believe? If your honest answer is that you would accept what you believe the Scriptures to say rather than what you believe your church to say (in the case there appears to be a conflict between them), then I have misjudged you, and I must ask your apology. But if you would do what every Roman Catholic is required to do, and submit to what you believe the church to be teaching, then my criticism is exactly correct.

    And this explains your lack of interest in reading the Scriptures, or the Fathers, or Pastor King’s presentation of them. For, as perhaps you will agree (do you?), “When God does not soften a heart by the interior unction of His grace, exterior exhortations and graces are of no service except to harden it the more.” (See Romans 8:7; John 12:40)

    - TurretinFan

  163. David H said,

    December 4, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Steve G:

    “Those are all Old Testament, not New Testament. There’s no reason any of those should it into a NT view. You seem to forget what Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4. She contrasted Samaritan worship at Mt. Gerizim with Jewish worship at the Temple in Jerusalem. And what was Jesus response to her – none of it would soon matter any more”

    The point was a response to Paige’s claim that God does not make ordinary things extraordinary. I showed biblically that is not the case. I caution against dismissing that as an OT thing as if the God of the OT was different than the God of the NT. Assuming you are Reformed, I find it an odd argument given the Reformed focus (which I agree with) on covenant theology.

  164. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 4, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Sean (#154):

    The Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have been giving high devotion to Mary for thousands of years and neither has ever abandoned the truth that Jesus is God.

    There’s a lot of sorrow in the church, and assigning simple causation for it is perilous. You insinuate that Unitarians lost the Trinity because they lost devotion to Mary. Yet this is certainly a non-obvious connection. Far more obvious is that Unitarians bought into Enlightenment teaching, a phenomenon that occurred simultaneously in Protestant Britannia (including America) and in Catholic France. Unitarianism was pushed as a rationalistic way of simplifying our “irrational” thoughts about God.

    Surely you don’t hold that belief in Mary would have stopped that train, especially since France imbibed at least as deeply at the well of Enlightenment thought?

    Further, there are many ways to fall off the cliff. You can point to your Unitarians; I can point to South American syncretism, where “high devotion” to Mary and the saints most definitely slides over into superstition and idolatry.

    So it seems wise to me to focus more narrowly on the ideas, and on Scripture, than to try to make slippery-slope arguments about where these ideas might lead. Fair?

  165. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 4, 2010 at 9:33 am

    TFan makes a good point about Luke 11:27-28. Jesus does seem to literally be repudiating devotion to his mother here.

    David and Sean, can you concede that this casts some doubt on the idea of devotion to Mary?

    Also: There was an earlier question that got lost in the blizzard. Assuming transubstantiation, how can Jesus’ human body be in multiple places at once, without confusing the human and divine natures of Christ?

  166. Sean said,

    December 4, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Steve – # 160

    Secularists are not secularists due to some fault with Catholic theology. However, Unitarians are simply Calvinists taking Calvinism to its logical end. I am not the first to say this.

    Jeff – # 164

    TFan makes a good point about Luke 11:27-28. Jesus does seem to literally be repudiating devotion to his mother here.

    Our Lord obeyed all the commandments including ‘honor your mother and father’ and did not repudiate her. This is a sad rendering that misses the point completely. There is so much there that one misses when one departs from the church, it is honestly sad.

    You really should read Scott Hahn’s ‘Hail, Holy Queen’ – if anything you can learn how TFan’s reading is sadly falling short.

    I don’t have time today to ‘get into it’ because we are preparing our home for a baptism party tomorrow for my son, but there is significance in the way Jesus addresses Mary throughout the gospels from His first calling her ‘woman’ at Cana to his giving us as our Mother at the cross.

    Real briefly…consider this….

    Read the Gospel of John from the beginning till the end of the wedding at Cana. Compare the beginning of John to Genesis. Note how John’s gospel starts with a succession of days. Count the days. The wedding at Cana falls on the 7th day. This mirrors the creation narrative. Mary is introduced at Cana as ‘WOMAN.’

    These are reflections that the church fathers have known for centuries but is totally foreign to American Protestantism and I find that lamentable.

    Justin Martyr: “Jesus became man by the Virgin so that the course which was taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent might be also the very course by which it would be put down. Eve, a virgin and undefiled, conceived the word of the serpent and bore disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced to her the glad tidings that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy One being born of her is the Son of God. And she replied, ‘Be it done unto me according to your word’ [Luke 1:38]” (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 100 A.D. 155)

    Augustine: “Our Lord…was not averse to males, for he took the form of a male, nor to females, for of a female he was born (MARY). Besides, there is a great mystery here: that just as death comes to us through a woman (EVE); that the devil, defeated, would be tormented by each nature, feminine and masculine, as he had taken delight in the defection of both.” (Christian Combat 22:24 A.D. 396)

  167. Reed Here said,

    December 4, 2010 at 10:29 am

    TF and David H: yes, I made a mistake in referring to Noah’s ark. I understood David was referring to the Ark of the Covenant. Doing more than 2 things at once at the time, I demonstrated the weakness of my mental faculties.

    My critcism still applies. Read “ark of the covenant” for “Noah’s ark” and it says the same thing.

    Tom, Sean, David H. (any any of RC friend I’ve missed): I understand how your functioning via your use of biblical typology. I was actually blessed to study this subject a bit before I became reformed. In that study I was exposed to the broad range of hermeneutical options on this topic.

    You will agree, I hope, that not everyone’s opinion about biblical typology can possibly be correct. Surely you don’ accept some of Origen’s rather fanciful typological connections, for example?

    My point is simply this, here too, as with all these discussions between us, there needs to be some secure base of hermeneutical rules for biblical typology. If not, then anything goes and the Moonies and Mormons are as perfectly orthodox in their typological considerations as you or I.

    This brings us back to the authority question, doesn’t it? I respect that you say you submit to a divinely instituted authority. My problem is how do you know it is divinely instituted? If you say because the Bible tells me so, well then at least we’re on the same page and we can debate what the Bible actually says.

    But we’re not on the same page, are we? You say the Bible plus the Tradition, don’t you? Feel free to tweak my summary labeling as you wish. It amounts to the same thing: your authority is a combination of God in his word PLUS Man in his word.

    The reason your typology for Mary is so dangerous is because you use hermeneutical rules not exclusively rooted in the Bible. You require the use of some rules defined extra-biblically. (Your biblical based argument for why this is valid demonstrates the same reliance on the tradition-based authority. I.e., your ultimate authority is tradition, as even it rules over the Bible).

    Sorry, but I cannot see this in the pages of Scripture. The word of God, and it alone, is the supreme authority in all matters of belief and practice. That is what the Bible says unequivocably.

    You can cobble together as many convoluted arguments as Jesuits can fit on the head of a pin, and your position still won’t match the simply clear, neat, orderly, and profound declaration of the Bible’s sole-sovereign authority.

    In the end your man-based positions are no better than the Mormons, the Moonies, the Hindus, the Muslims, the (fill in the blank), because you all propose to speak for G/god, and contrary to his own self-declaration in the Bible.

    In your proposing to honor her you actually denigrate Mary, robbing her of her true dignity as a daughter of the King. It is so much worse because you do this with sincerity.

    May God be merciful to you. He’s the only one who can. Mary would tell you the same.

  168. steve hays said,

    December 4, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Sean said,

    “Secularists are not secularists due to some fault with Catholic theology. However, Unitarians are simply Calvinists taking Calvinism to its logical end. I am not the first to say this.”

    I’d be the last person to credit you with originality. In any case, you’re a papist who merely props up his assertion by quoting the opinion of another papist. Thanks for the circular proof.

  169. Sean said,

    December 4, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Reed – I understand that in your opinion the Catholic Church (and I assume the Orthodox churches as well) are not biblical in their belief about Mary. Of course, as you alluded, we do not believe that our doctrines should be held or rejected based on a head count of how many professing Christians agree that they are biblical.

    I believe that the Church’s teaching on Mary are throughly biblical. As a Presbyterian about five years ago I sat down with a Catholic who explained some of the church’s teaching about Mary. I was turned off and thumbed my nose it at because, hey, I didn’t see all that in the bible! So, I completely understand your point of view.

    How I got from there to here is a long story and probably too long for a combox discussion. Suffice to say, it is not as if I decided that I was going to start believing things that I knew were contradicted in the bible.

  170. paigebritton said,

    December 4, 2010 at 10:52 am

    What I fear here is that the classic Protestant critique is true: by focusing on Mary as the ark, we begin to lose sight of the point of Luke’s gospel — Jesus is the God-Man.

    And it’s not as if Jesus took time on the road to Emmaus, beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, to interpret to the despondent disciples in all the Scriptures the things concerning his mother.

  171. steve hays said,

    December 4, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Sean said,

    “Real briefly…consider this….Read the Gospel of John from the beginning till the end of the wedding at Cana. Compare the beginning of John to Genesis. Note how John’s gospel starts with a succession of days. Count the days. The wedding at Cana falls on the 7th day. This mirrors the creation narrative. Mary is introduced at Cana as ‘WOMAN.’”

    Yes, I can count to 7. And unlike Sean, I can also count to 6. Eve was made, named, and introduced to Adam all on the 6th day, not the 7th. So if Sean imagines that his Johannine numerology mirrors Gen 2, then he’s looking a broken mirror. I’d suggest he brush up on 1st grade arithmetic before he presents any more numerological proofs for Marian dogma.

  172. Sean said,

    December 4, 2010 at 11:03 am

    steve – you gloss over the point.

    Here is a good summary

    Out for the day. Have a good Saturday all.

  173. louis said,

    December 4, 2010 at 11:16 am

    When it came to transubstantiation, they insisted on wooden literalism. Now when it comes to Mary, they run off the rails with wild typological speculation. Basically the only real principle here is that whatever supports their argument must be right, and whatever doesn’t support it must be wrong.

  174. louis said,

    December 4, 2010 at 11:54 am

    172: “Mary makes her appearance on the seventh day of John’s new creation … In Genesis, the seventh day is the pinnacle of creation – when creation is completed, sanctified and perfected. The Sabbath is instituted on the seventh day….”

    If there is any typological significance here, it is in the fact that Jesus was at a wedding feast on that day, not Mary. The Sabbath represents the “wedding” banquet at the consummation of all things. (See Rev. 19, for example, concerning the marriage supper of the lamb). Thus JESUS (the Lord of the Sabbath) appears at the wedding feast on the seventh day. Then he turns water used for “Jewish rites of purification” (John 2:6) into wine. The old covenant is replaced by the new; shadows by fulfillment; cursing by blessing (Gal. 3).

    Once again, as with the ark typology, you people have taken what points to Christ, and have perverted it to support your idolatrous obsession with Mary.

  175. Tom Riello said,

    December 4, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    TF and Jeff,

    Mark Shea has a wonderful trilogy out called: Mary, Mother of the Son, in which he does a good job of explaining the Catholic teachings.

    That being said, on the surface it might appear that Jesus is doing what you say Our Lord is doing, repudiating devotion to His mother. But, let us remember Luke as a whole. As a reader of the Gospel, we have already learned that Mary is one who has received the Word of God, namely at the Annunciation, “may it be done according to thy word.” And she, we are told, kept the things concerning Her Son in her heart. As Pope John Paul II pointed out in his beautiful reflections on Mary, rather than being repudiated, the reader would already know that Mary is the model of discipleship, she receives the Word of God and she holds that Word deep within her and ponders and cherishes them in her heart.

  176. johnbugay said,

    December 4, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    In the link that Sean provided on the Wedding at Cana link, I’m amazed at the sheer distance that must be covered to make the connection they want to make — to use a Bryan Cross phrase, not only is it “not incompatible” to say that Jesus is (a) distancing himself from Mary in that pericope and (b) issuing a harsh rebuke to her, but that is the likely exegesis.

    And the author doesn’t really address the exegesis, but rather just explains it away.

    Once the true meaning of that passage is explained away, ONLY THEN can he go and try to make the vague typological case that Mary is really the pinnacle of creation.

    That’s the kind of weak, nonexistent link that underpins all of Roman Catholicism.

    Note to Paige — you have opened a can of worms by introducing into this type of dialog the concept that you did — it may feel warm and fuzzy to you talk about God using “ordinary” things; but Roman polemics have been developed over centuries. As we saw in the Special Revelation thread, it takes a thorough study of history and exegesis to address the spin that is put on these things.

    These Roman Catholics don’t just want to sit around the fire and sing Kumbaya with you; despite the smiley faces, the message they are spreading is a sinister one.

  177. louis said,

    December 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    “she receives the Word of God and she holds that Word deep within her and ponders and cherishes them in her heart.”

    And yet she still does not understand fully.

    “And his mother said to him, ‘son, why have you treated us so?’… And He said to them, ‘why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them.” (Luke 2:48-50).

    “And when His family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of his mind.’… And His mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called Him…. (Mark3).

    Mary is a Godly woman, but she is not sinless, and she is not the idol that these apostates have made her out to be.

  178. Tom Riello said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Reed,

    I appreciate the concerns you express about engaging in typology on steroids. You are right that a controlling paradigm is needed to avoid that. I recommend the following link by a Monsignor Pope as to how a Catholic approaches the Sacred Scripture.

    http://blog.adw.org/2010/12/on-the-synergy-of-sacred-scripture/

  179. Tom Riello said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Reed,

    I appreciate your concerns about engaging in typology on steroids, namely trying to find a type and its fulfillment according to one’s own fancy. The following link does a very good job of explaining how a Catholic approaches the Sacred Scripture.

    http://blog.adw.org/2010/12/on-the-synergy-of-sacred-scripture/

  180. steve hays said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Sean said,

    “steve – you gloss over the point.”

    No, I responded to you on your own terms. So, as usual, you have to backpeddle over the cliff. Hope you have your helmet on for the ride down.

    Catholic typology usually regards Mary as the New Eve, viz. Eva/Ave and all that good stuff (which works better in Latin than Greek and Hebrew, but oh well).

    But to be the numerological “mirror” image, the alleged parallel would have to take the 6th day rather than the 7th day as the frame of reference.

  181. David H said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Tfan,

    Speaking of listening – you need to read what I actually wrote. I have read enough of Rev. Kings proof-texting of the Fathers in recent weeks to make a general comment which is what I did. I did not read his post, I merely looked at the names of the two Catholic Fathers he was quoting.

    You accuse me of being an unteachable fool because I did not respond to one post (you do not strike me as exactly docile yourself). But surely you saw that I addressed several other people? 100+ in and we all need to choose what is worth responding to. When someone has a near pathological bad habit that person loses credibility. And the Rev. Kings proof-texting of the Fathers has lost credibility with me for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has read just a few in context texts of any handful of Fathers.

    So I think your charge of fool and unteachable is a foolish statement. If someone were teaching me something I would listen. And I have listened to several people on here who were thoughtful and worth considering. Have I been convinced? No. But no one can honestly say I haven’t listened considering how many posts I have responded to.

  182. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Just a last thought, and then back to Legos with the youngest:

    The wedding at Cana falls on the 7th day. This mirrors the creation narrative. Mary is introduced at Cana as ‘WOMAN.’

    I am aware of some of the early church fathers’ connecting of Mary with Eve. I have to say, I find that symbolism disquieting. For if Jesus is the second Adam and Mary is his Eve … well.

    And the disquiet continues with the “Queen of Heaven” or “Holy Queen” language. For typically, the Queen is the consort of the King.

    So out of all of the issues we have raised today, Mary as Eve and the unanswered question about transubstantiation and Christology rank up at the top of my red flag list.

  183. johnbugay said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    The Woman From Genesis 3:

    15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

    16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

    That’s sexual desire in v. 16, and a husband who “rules” over this woman. How strange it is that Rome has [in a dogmatic statement, no less] made Mary the woman in Gen 3:15, but don’t want her anywhere near Gen 3:16. Yet God has the very same woman in view there.

  184. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    In #149 Steve G said:
    ….typology is great for giving additional insight into something already known to be true.

    Steve – You (and Jeff Cagle) make a great point here that the Catholics need to take note of. Protestants have made much use of typology in their analysis of Scripture and it’s an important facet of particularly Biblical Theology (as opposed to Systematic Theology). I have Fairbairn’s monumental work on the subject, Typology of Scripture and I can affirm that it is a wonderful resource. But at least to my knowledge the Protestants have not used it for apologetic purposes. Typology helps bring depth to a particular position but it will not establish it.

    So take note Catholics – Typological evidence is less likely to work with Protestants than arguments based on direct exegesis, history, and perhaps even philosophy. As Steve points out, it’s meant to provide a supportive rather than a primary role in establishing a point. In other words, don’t use it for apologetic purposes! You will only end up in rabbit trail types of discussions.

  185. louis said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    There is nothing to support Mariolatry except bad typology and false signs and wonders. What else are they suppose to do?

  186. johnbugay said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    What else are they suppose to do?

    Maybe come to their senses and repent?

  187. paigebritton said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Hey, John B.,
    Note to Paige — you have opened a can of worms by introducing into this type of dialog the concept that you did — it may feel warm and fuzzy to you talk about God using “ordinary” things; but Roman polemics have been developed over centuries. As we saw in the Special Revelation thread, it takes a thorough study of history and exegesis to address the spin that is put on these things.

    “Warm and fuzzy”?? Come on, now, brother! That’s not fair. I am seeing something true and saying it: RC theology (also developed over the centuries!) emphasizes the supernatural alteration of this world. That’s a theological statement communicated as much by their extrabiblical dogmas as a group as by any direct statement that they make. And judging from some of the dialog here, it is not necessarily something they would readily say in so many words!

    What’s “warm and fuzzy” about telling the truth about God, who “ordinarily works ordinarily,” as Reed puts it? Nothing “warm and fuzzy” about a 1st century Jewish woman giving birth in a barn, as far as I can see.

    (Sheesh, shoot me down, why don’t you! If you only knew how hard I have to work to avoid the charge of “warm and fuzzy”!! :)

  188. steve hays said,

    December 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Needless to say, the basic problem is that Catholics begin with their extrabiblical dogmas, then try to retroengineer these through “Biblical” typology. That’s completely different from *beginning* with Biblical typology.

    I’d also add that this is the sort of thing you get from Catholic apologists, not the sort of thing you get from Catholic Bible scholars like John Meier, Luke Timothy Johnson, &c.

    And, of course, Scott Hahn is a theological halfbreed who tries to graft the Presbyterian covenant theology he learned in seminary onto the thornbush of traditional Catholic dogma. It’s something you’d only get from an convert to Rome.

  189. johnbugay said,

    December 4, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Paige, I guess what I was intending to convey was that, as meaningful as the difference is that you are trying to convey, it needs to be done through firm exegetical means. “Proof-by-story” (“wrapped in a kind of protective glow, like a halo on a Christmas card”, Robinson Cruso, etc.) sets the precedent and opens the door for the “bad typology” that’s been brougnt into this discussion.

    [And I know you disclaimed that right from the start. But maybe that wasn't the best thing to do in this context.]

  190. paigebritton said,

    December 4, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    John B. -
    Yes, I understand: but sometimes telling it as story first communicates a whole picture to a mind. (Though not necessarily always the most pridefully sophisticated minds.) “Proof by story” it’s not meant to be, but illustration of truth. A parable, as I noted. We all work together to go from there.

    And methinks we’d have heard the “bad typology” stuff no matter what. ;)

  191. johnbugay said,

    December 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    but sometimes telling it as story first communicates a whole picture to a mind

    Yes, well, but we are not sitting around a fire here telling stories; we (and I sense that most of the folks here) are trying to sort out theological, exegetical and historical details of a struggle that’s been going on for centuries.

    Norman Mailer had a line that I’ve always appreciated, which I think might have some application here.

    The adjective is the author’s opinion of what’s going on, no more. If I write, “A strong man came into the room,” that only means he is strong in relation to me. Unless I’ve established myself for the reader, I might be the only fellow in the bar who is impressed by the guy who just came in. It is better to say, “a man entered. He was holding a walking stick, and for some reason, he now broke it in two like a twig.” Of course, this takes more time to narrate. So adjectives bring on a quick tell-you-how-to-live” writing. Advertising thrives on it. “A superefficient, silent, sensuous five-speed shift.” Put twenty adjectives before the noun and no one will know you are describing a turd. (Tough Guys Don’t Dance, New York: Ballantine Publishing edition, 152-153).

    The Roman Catholics will come here with all their fine sounding adjectives, their bad typology, but we all know that, the only real things they have to offer, are a bunch of turds. And I’m not saying that to be shocking; the others are noticing this.

    Bob Suden had one of the best lines I’ve heard in a long time in one of these threads. “When Bryan Cross came here we all ooh’d and ah’d about how nice he was. But that was until we realized what he was trying to sell us.”

    I’m all for being kind to people; in real life I’m one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. But in this type of forum, encouraging the Roman Catholics to tell their stories just means there’s more to have to shovel out of here.

  192. Phil Derksen said,

    December 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Welcome to the coliseum err… I mean forum, Paige!

  193. paigebritton said,

    December 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    David H.,
    I keep not responding to you — sorry for that. I thank you for your thorough response a ways back. Really I am only trying to communicate a simple difference between our theologies:

    In the doctrines I noted above, as well as in others, Catholic theology embraces and promotes the idea of God’s supernatural alteration of ordinary things and people.

    In the corresponding doctrinal counterparts, Protestant theology doesn’t.

    Both theologies thus teach their people holistically (not just propositionally) what to expect of God’s work in the world. Only one of these conclusions is the sound one, making sense of our existence here and giving us a true perspective on God’s providence.

    Now look, this doesn’t mean Prots deny the element of the miraculous in Scripture. But we do recognize that it served a function, like an exclamation point, and thus was deliberately limited by God to those times in redemptive history when he particularly desired his revelation to be underscored. Asking for miracles and signs beyond God’s intention and timing was itself a sign of “a wicked and adulterous generation,” according to Jesus. Since there is no sense in Scripture that believers should expect the sort of veneration and transformation of ordinary people and things that we see in Marian dogma, the doctrine of transubstantiation, and the doctrine of the infallible magisterium (useful both for interpretation and canonization), we must interpret these dogmatic developments as the kind of thing Jesus was warning about.

    Of course, the debate veers back at this point to the question of the locus of authority: it always does. And really we have to acknowledge a stalemate here, because we can’t accept arguments from your Tradition, and you can’t accept our exegesis when it contradicts magisterial authority.

    But I would be remiss if I did not speak from my conviction that Scripture teaches a different view of God’s providence for his church than one would be led to expect from Catholic theology, given the highly supernatural, miraculous elements of the doctrines we’ve been discussing.

    thanks for your interactions!
    pax,
    Paige B.

  194. paigebritton said,

    December 4, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    John,
    I’m all for being kind to people; in real life I’m one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. But in this type of forum, encouraging the Roman Catholics to tell their stories just means there’s more to have to shovel out of here.

    Hey, brother, I can cheerfully say that having read every single GB post, including all of yours, for the last year and a half, plus archives, there is ALWAYS a high degree of turd-shoveling to do in these discussions. I find it funny that you’d blame this particular pile on my style of writing and my approach. There’s no perfect way to start, and if you want to grade me with a D- that’s certainly your privilege, and no hard feelings. ‘Twould be awful nice to have you at my back instead, though, as a fellow turd-shoveler, since you are so good at it.

    pax,
    Paige B.

  195. John Bugay said,

    December 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I find it funny that you’d blame this particular pile on my style of writing and my approach.

    Paige, I wasn’t necessarily talking about the style of writing, and I’m not grading anyone; there are just a lot more differences than how we view the ordinary/supernatural distinctions; and certainly a lot more direct ways to get there. (Michael Horton’s “Covenant and Salvation” goes into a good bit of detail on this topic. He covers all the relevant issues and objections, and he even cites Bavinck quite extensively, in the process. It just seems that there are lots of busy folks here, and they’ve got much better things to do than trying to wade through and deconstructing volumes of RC Marian typology. I do think your laid-back approach has opened the door to that kind of posturing.)

    If you recall, I made quite a [seemingly unpopular] fuss about Jason Stellman having provided such a free soapbox to all of the Called to Communion guys; he enabled them to meet in a safe environment and have their say, on what should have been “Reformed turf”; meanwhile, he did precious little to discourage them even, and much less to challenge them.

    And now, they are out there [and here!] appealing to weak-minded Reformed brethren, making fine sounding, philosophically-based arguments that really have no basis in reality, but which are, in fine satanic style, asking, “Did God really say…?”

    I would just hate to see a re-run of that process. And I’m with those who agree that, if Adam had been standing nearby in the garden, he should have beheaded that serpent before he had a chance to get a word in.

  196. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    If you recall, I made quite a [seemingly unpopular] fuss about Jason Stellman having provided such a free soapbox to all of the Called to Communion guys; he enabled them to meet in a safe environment

    John – I think it’s important to give the Catholics a safe environment, just as it is for them to give us this safe environment which I think they have done, not perfectly, but to a large extent at Called to Communion. If neither side has this safe environment in each other’s camp then we are back to an Inquisition sort of philosophy.

    IMHO, we need a kinder gentler Reformed apologetic. Jason is definitely kindler and gentler than I am, and I think the result of that is he has more cache with the Catholics than I do. In other words if he tells them that a particular point they are making is not fair they are more likely to listen to him than they would if I made the same point. There is something to be said for building bridges rather than burning them down.

  197. John Bugay said,

    December 4, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Andrew, I strenuously disagree with you on the “kinder, gentler” thing.

    What do you mean by “safe environment”? At “Called to Communion,” all they’ve done is created a “safe environment” for the kind of things that you yourself oppose to be propagated without opposition.

    Jason is definitely kindler and gentler than I am, and I think the result of that is he has more cache with the Catholics than I do. In other words if he tells them that a particular point they are making is not fair they are more likely to listen to him than they would if I made the same point.

    Of what value is this “cache”? CTC is more of a back-slapping mutual admiration society than it is a place for honest discussion. They would never let David King or Turretinfan to speak unhindered over there.

    I recently tried to point out that Bryan Cross had misused a Luther quote in the Carl Trueman article — it was a Luther quote that James Swan had explicated in great detail. And yet Bryan used this to The mere pointing out of this was simply ignored.

    Compare the Luther quote here:

    http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/10/trueman-and-prolegomena-to-how-would-protestants-know-when-to-return/

    with what Martin Luther actually says:

    http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/08/luther-christ-gave-keys-to-peter.html

    And tell me that Bryan’s approach isn’t just completely dishonest. He addresses this down in comment #35, after someone points out that he is “abusing the Luther quote”. And he only addresses it in his usual, evasive, equivocating style.

    And this is the type of thing they do with “safety”.

  198. John Bugay said,

    December 4, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Utilizing the links above: Bryan Cross cites Martin Luther out of context:

    “So we stand here and with open mouth stare heavenward and invent still other keys. Yet Christ says very clearly in Matthew 16:19 that He will give the keys to Peter. He does not say He has two kinds of keys, but He gives to Peter the keys He Himself has, and no others. It is as if He were saying: why are you staring heavenward in search of the keys? Do you not understand I gave them to Peter? They are indeed the keys of Heaven, but they are not found in Heaven. I left them on earth. Don’t look for them in Heaven or anywhere else except in Peter’s mouth where I have placed them. Peter’s mouth is My mouth, and his tongue is My key case. His office is My office, his binding and loosing are My binding and loosing.” – Martin Luther 1

    Martin Luther, The Keys, in Conrad Bergendoff, ed. trans. Earl Beyer and Conrad Bergendoff, Luthers Works, vol 40, Philadelphia: Fortress, 1958, pp. 365-366.

    Poor, sincere Bryan yearns for the day when we’ll all be one in the Catholic Church. And like many of his devout Roman Catholic predecessors, he’s willing to lie.

    And here, with the help of James Swan, is the rest of the quote.

    So the lies of men are of no avail. The keys belong to the whole church and to each of its members, both as regards their authority and their various uses. Otherwise we do violence to the words of Christ, in which he speaks to all without qualification or limitation: “Let him be to you,” and “You will have gained your brother,” and “Whatever you,” etc. And the words which were spoken alone to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” here find their confirmation. This word also, “If two of you agree on earth,” and “Where two are gathered in my name there am I in the midst of them” [Matt. 18:19, 20]. In all of these declarations we find established the fullest authority and the most immediate exercise of the right to bind and to absolve. Were this not true we would be denying to Christ himself the right and use of the keys as he dwells among even a couple of his disciples. But this indeed I have abundantly elaborated elsewhere. Luther, M. (1999, c1958). Vol. 40: Luther’s works, vol. 40 : Church and Ministry II (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther’s Works (40:27). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

    [Just as a side note, Roman doctrine seems require that any mention of “Peter” necessarily entails the full-blown Vatican I primacy of the pope.]

    Bryan actually did address this in comment 36. His response is a non-response:

    I obviously wasn’t suggesting that Luther thought the Pope retained the keys of the Kingdom; otherwise, Luther would have submitted to the Pope. Setting aside the questions of who now holds the keys and what is the nature of the keys, what Luther says in the quotation about Christ giving the keys to Peter is true, even if Catholics believe it has a different implication than the one Luther draws from it. In other words, there is common ground regarding the quotation, even if we disagree regarding its implications and application. If you thought I was intending to suggest that Luther believed that only the Pope held the keys, then you misunderstood my reason for including the quotation. For Luther, we could almost say that everyone except the episcopal successor of Peter holds the keys.

    [Emphasis added here. If Bryan thinks there is any "common ground" at all, it is merely that several of the same words are used. And Bryan feels free to equivocate without telling anyone. This is pure deceit. Otherwise, Luther is in complete disagreement with Bryan.]

    Going back to his original article, here is what Trueman says:

    I would argue that this end to the Reformation has come about for many of the wrong reasons and represents not so much the final rapprochement between Catholicism and Protestantism but the problematic nature, if not crisis, of evangelical identity at the start of the twenty-first century. I’m afraid I for one can’t let the Reformation go doctrinally, even though for many the curtain already appears to be coming down on the final scene.

    Who is the target of Trueman’s lament? Here he is talking about:
    http://www.reformation21.org/shelf-life/is-the-reformation-over.php

    … “evangelicals” who deny justification by faith as understood by the Protestant Reformers, who deny God’s comprehensive knowledge of the future, who deny penal substitutionary atonement, who deny the Messianic self-consciousness of Christ, who have problems with the Nicene Creed, who deny the Chalcedonian definition of Christ’s person, who cannot be trusted to make clear statements on homosexuality, and who advocate epistemologies and other philosophical viewpoints which are entirely unprecedented in the history of the orthodox Christian church, it is clear that the term “evangelical” and its cognates, without any qualifying adjective, such as “confessional” or “open” or “post-conservative,” is in danger of becoming next to meaningless.

    But if you read his response, this group of so-called “evangelicals” who may as well be Roman Catholic, but equally, who may as well be Mormons or Wiccans or any other truly non-Christian group. It is not the “evangelicals” who know their heritage he is lamenting. These are individuals who do know what they believe.

    But Bryan makes out as if Trueman somehow supports his program.

  199. Tom Riello said,

    December 4, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    John,

    Carl Trueman, who can speak for himself, and did, referenced Bryan and actually thought what Bryan had to say was well worth considering and thought Bryan was irenic and respectful. I think if Trueman thought by Bryan was taking him out of context or having him say something he did not say, he would have said so, but he didn’t, because Bryan did no such thing. Now, I want to apologize to Carl Trueman in advance because if someone at Called to Communion speaks positively about a Reformed theologian or writer (e.g. Jason and Paige) then that means they are not throughly Reformed enough.

  200. David H said,

    December 4, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Paige,

    I appreciate your kind response and I do, respect where you are coming from.

    “Of course, the debate veers back at this point to the question of the locus of authority: it always does. And really we have to acknowledge a stalemate here, because we can’t accept arguments from your Tradition, and you can’t accept our exegesis when it contradicts magisterial authority.”

    I think that is a fair point though I might word the last part slightly different (obviously as a Catholic). However, I will say I there is an aspect of your position that I think many Catholics could learn from. There are certainly those in cultural Catholicism… or I should say popular cultural segments in Catholicism that do look for Mary in every piece of toast and and pop tart. Something I am uncofortable with. And a recovery or discovery of God in the ordinary, as you described, is something that would be of great benefit to those who lean more towards sign seeking. That is why the Church needs more converts from Reformedom to help us recover such things ;-) but I am kind of serious. Scott Hahn has helped do this with Covenant Theology in Catholicism. I will say I don’t think the Catholic view of the real presence has any influence on those particular Catholics who have such cultural superstitions.

    With a church this big and old we do have our crazy uncles who we tolerate.

    For what it is worth I don’t think your post was warm and fuzzy at all. :)

    Thank you for the interesting thoughts. Yours is a good mind.

  201. paigebritton said,

    December 4, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Gosh, thanks, Tom and David. You are big helps. Now I have to claw my way back up the slippery slope to full Reformed status. Just keep disagreeing with me about things, okay?

  202. Sean said,

    December 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Paige.

    Tread carefully. You are probably just one or two posts away from being declared ‘dishonest.’

  203. D. T. King said,

    December 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I cannot believe your thinking is so poisoned by bias that you cannot recognize sarcasm. You are the only one who said I was saying I was superior. And it was baseless. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

    Yes, well, your sarcasm was duly noted, and I stand with it.

    Your wooden literalism of my clearly tongue-in-cheek response explains alot about your (mis)reading of scripture and the fathers. That or you don’t mind using deception to try to diminish someone.

    Yes, the repetition of the assertion does not prove the assertion that I have misread my sources. :)

    This sort of post is representative of how Roman apologists dismiss the evidence advanced against them when they cannot deal meaningfully with the evidence itself.

  204. D. T. King said,

    December 4, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    She needed saving but God chose a unique chronology in applying Christ’s merits to her. She needed a Savior, but the Ark of the Covenant also needs to be a pure vessel. Mary is the ultimate Ark…

    Here is how Roman scholar Raymond Brown deal with this claim…

    Raymond Brown: “[I]t is totally a guess to assume from the verb episkiazein that Luke thinks of Mary as the Tabernacle or the Ark of the Covenant overshadowed by or containing the divine presence. To be precise, in the OT the cherubim rather than God are said to overshadow the Ark; moreover, the Ark and Tabernacle are not the only places overshadowed by divine presence.” See his commentary, The Birth of the Messiah: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (New York: Doubleday, 1993), p. 328.

    Raymond Brown: This resemblance has been seized upon to defend the (dubious) thesis already mentioned (§ 11, E3) that Luke thinks of Mary as the Ark of the Covenant. See his commentary, The Birth of the Messiah: A Commentary on the Infancy Narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke (New York: Doubleday, 1993), p. 344.

  205. D. T. King said,

    December 4, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    And the Rev. Kings proof-texting of the Fathers has lost credibility with me for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has read just a few in context texts of any handful of Fathers.

    The fact is, folks, whoever quotes the ECFs, or adduces evidence from them, is irrelevant. The evidence itself should be dealt with. The refusal to do so, for whatever reason, is irresponsible. Claiming “reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has read just a few in context texts of any handful of Fathers” only underscores a dismissive approach.

  206. TurretinFan said,

    December 4, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    “You really should read Scott Hahn’s ‘Hail, Holy Queen’ – if anything you can learn how TFan’s reading is sadly falling short.”

    You should read Eric Svendsen’s “Who is My Mother?” to learn how Hahn’s reading into is unjustified.

    But let’s deal with the one zinger … “Our Lord obeyed all the commandments including ‘honor your mother and father’ and did not repudiate her. ”

    This zinger is faulty for a couple of reasons:

    1) Of course, no one is arguing that Jesus sinned. Jesus could say that his flesh and blood relationships with his physical siblings and mother are basically insignificant compared to the relationship every believer has by faith in Christ, without breaking the fifth commandment.

    2) The zinger assumes that Jesus was under Mary’s authority. It’s tempting to make this argument because Mary was – as to his humanity – his mother. But Jesus was unlike every other child – he was his own mother’s creator. She owed her existence to him in a much more important way than he owed his existence to her. It is no dishonor to her, therefore, for Him to repudiate the idea of her having either special devotion or any special privileges with respect to him in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    -TurretinFan

  207. TurretinFan said,

    December 4, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    David H.

    I lack time (at the moment) for a full response to your comments. In very brief, yes – my comment was based on what point where you openly admitted what I had already observed in your interactions here. I’d be happy to be proved wrong – and I’ve already given you one chance to do that (which you have passed on).

    Here’s another chance to prove me wrong.

    You wrote:

    And the Rev. Kings proof-texting of the Fathers has lost credibility with me for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has read just a few in context texts of any handful of Fathers.

    And in your comment that I so harshly criticized, you made a claim to the effect that Pastor King was quoting the fathers out of context.

    I understand that you may have read very few patristic texts, but can you identify for us even one example from Pastor King’s quotations where the quotation he gives has a different meaning when more of the context of the quotation is given?

    Perhaps I should ask for two, so that you can prove it was a pattern rather than a one-off error, but your time is limited as is mine. So, just one example where the sentences before or after what Pastor King quoted change the meaning of what Pastor King quoted in any meaningful way.

    My prediction is that you won’t be able to demonstrate even one such example. Instead, your idea of taking them out of context (if we’re lucky enough to get a response from you at all) will amount to something like finding some other place in their writings where they say something complimentary about the bishop of Rome or the church – or where they say something no modern “Protestant” would say.

    Oh well – I’d be happy to be proven wrong. I’d be happy for you to show me that Pastor King has a pattern of taking things out of context, particularly since it will help keep him and me humble.

    We’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain from learning more about historical theology. After all – our rule of faith is the infallible Scriptures, not the fallible fathers. If we have misunderstood or misrepresented them, we’re happy to be corrected. If we have understood them correctly, as it seems we have, the right thing for you to do would be apologize.

    -TurretinFan

  208. D. T. King said,

    December 4, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    You may want to read Scott Hahn’s work, Hail, Holy Queen for a good treatment on this.

    I have read it. I will offer an example of the “scholarship” offered in this book.

    Here’s one of Hahn’s blunders in this book. He claimed that Augustine said that the woman of the Apocalypse (quote) “signifies Mary, who, being spotless, brought forth our spotless head. Who herself also showed forth in herself a figure of holy Church, so that as she in bringing forth a Son remained a virgin, so the Church also should during the whole of time be bringing forth His members, and yet not lose her virgin estate.” Dr. Hahn takes this quote (word for word) directly from Thomas Livius’s book, The Blessed Virgin in the Fathers of the First Six Centuries (London: Burns and Oates, 1893), p. 269 in Scott Hahn, Hail, Holy Queen (New York: Doubleday, 2001), p. 66.

    However, David. Le Frois, a Roman scholar who has written the most exhaustive treatment of the patristic views of the Marian interpretation of Rev 12, does not even offer a quotation from Augustine. Hahn has cited a secondary source in the above mentioned book by Thomas Livius as his reference. The truth of the matter is that Livius (on whom Hahn relied) is citing a pseudo-Augustine work. Hahn offers this pseudo-Augustine quote on p. 66 of his book, Hail, Holy Queen (New York: Doubleday, 2001).

    Moreover, when I ran down Livius’ book, (which btw the way can be downloaded from the internet in .pdf format here, http://www.archive.org/details/maryintheepistle00liviuoft , I discovered that Livius, in his book, Mary in the Epistles, or The Implicit Teaching of the Apostles concerning the Blessed Virgin (London: Burns & Oates, LD., 1891), p. 268 is quoting from a work falsely ascribed to Augustine, titled, De traditione Symboli ad catechemenos. Hahn did not bother to find a primary reference for this alleged quote from Augustine; he simply used a citation from Livius’ book as though it was genuinely Augustine’s words. The quote attributed to Augustine by Hahn, which he cited from the book by Livius, is not authentic. The Benedictine editors of Migne (where the Latin for this quote can be found, PL40:661,) confess themselves that the quote is not authentic, and attribute it instead to Quodvultdeus. Even the Roman author, Jurgens, indicates in vol. 3 of his, The Faith of the Early Fathers (p. 34) that the source is not genuinely Augustine’s. This example from Hahn’s book does not reflect sound scholarship.

    Augustine represents a fifth-century writer who unequivocally holds to the people of God view of Revelation 12, but one whom Le Frois nevertheless sees as possibly holding to the Marian interpretation as well (Le Frois, 1954:50-51). The evidence that Le Frois offers us is that since Augustine interprets the “wilderness” or “solitary place” in Revelation 12 as a symbol of Christ’s virgin birth, and the woman as the “ancient city of God,” we should therefore take this “as an indication of the transition in the mind of Augustine from Mary to the Church” (Le Frois, 1954:51). But this is completely unnecessary. The “ancient church” for Augustine is the collection of the people of God regardless of Old or New Covenant. Mary is seen to be part of this “ancient church” (in this case the Old Covenant) which gives birth to the Messiah. That does not imply that Augustine saw a double referent to Mary and the church; rather he saw Mary as part of the church. There is no more an indication in Augustine of the Marian interpretation than there is among exegetes today who hold that the woman represents the people of God in both Covenants, and that the “birth” of the male child refers to the birth of Christ, without seeing a double referent to Mary as the woman.

  209. John Bugay said,

    December 5, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Tom Riello (197):

    Carl Trueman, who can speak for himself, and did, referenced Bryan and actually thought what Bryan had to say was well worth considering

    This doesn’t mean he agreed with him on the substance of the details.

    and thought Bryan was irenic and respectful.
    Everybody thinks that; reference my comment (189) about what Bob Suden said, above.

    I think if Trueman thought by Bryan was taking him out of context or having him say something he did not say, he would have said so, but he didn’t, because Bryan did no such thing.

    No, Bryan did not take Carl Trueman out of context. But not only did he take Martin Luther out of context, but he did so in such a way as to mislead any readers of that article with the impression that Luther had said something he really didn’t say.

    But Bryan did fudge (or worse) in several places, and Carl Trueman either did not notice or did not comment that Bryan did what he always does, and that is to beg the question of what actually was “the church that Christ” founded — here is Bryan’s conception of “the church that Christ founded”:

    * It is something that Protestants typically “have a qualitatively different conception of what the Church is”

    * That it is something “that Christ through His Apostles gave charge of His Church to an hierarchy of bishops in a perpetual line of succession having an essential unity that is essentially visible.”

    * He assumes that what the initial Protestants intended to reform in some way continued to be *the Church* when in fact, whatever “churches” it had, was either lost through neglect or formally rejected at Trent.

    All of these notions do need to be challenged. And I too will say that I agree with Carl Trueman that most Protestants do have amnesia (as the title of his response suggests). They fail to understand the claims of Rome as well as the assumptions that Bryan is making here [which are not necessarily the same thing and themselves which beg for nuance and clarification].

    And specifically, they do not know to question them when they hear them, because [in this case] Bryan provides a portion of something that Luther said that seems designed to throw them off the case at the start.

    Now, I want to apologize to Carl Trueman in advance because if someone at Called to Communion speaks positively about a Reformed theologian or writer (e.g. Jason and Paige) then that means they are not throughly Reformed enough.

    Your own misrepresentation of this situation is duly noted. And Sean, if you think that Bryan’s misuse of Luther was anything other than dishonest, you should say so. You should say precisely why taking a writer out of his context in such a way that totally reverses his thought in a passage is anything other than dishonest.

  210. BSuden said,

    December 5, 2010 at 1:57 am

    And the Rev. King’s proof-texting of the Fathers has lost credibility with me for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has read just a few in context texts of any handful of Fathers.

    This is simply laughable, if not stupid and sinfully arrogant. If you want to make the charge, feel free to do so. But then back it up. Demonstrate it. Book, chapter and verse as it were. And if you won’t or better yet, can’t, stand down and shut up in the first place. It’s slander, if not an outright lie.

    And you can’t back it up. Why not? For the same reason Bryan chided Andrew on his bald assertion that the process of canonization of the inspired canon was itself inspired. Because it is by and large the exclusive ploy of Rome as we can see from the arguments proffered on this forum.

    Again, nobody on this thread yet, has introduced any substantive quotes from the ECFs on the Roman side of the fence and yet we have the audacity to make the claim above. This is nothing more than the Big Lie technique.

    But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unfiagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success. A. Hitler, Mein Kampf, I:6

    So too the totalitarian church-state entity that preceded the Fourth Reich and is with us yet today along with its epigones and irregular third rate apologists. As we say on the jobsite, if you can’t do better than this, “Go, sit in the truck”.

  211. BSuden said,

    December 5, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Speaking of the ECFs, for those too simple to get it, the overall gist of this thread concerning the protestant objections to the wilfully subjective exposition of Scripture – besides the charge of ECF prooftexting – there is no excuse. For starters, Augustine’s classic on how to read the Bible, On Christian Doctrine, is easily available on the internet, whether to read, download or purchase.

    We don’t just get to make it up as we go along and turn the Bible into a fantastic tall tale complete with all sorts of esoteric arcane and gnostic connections that only feeds the treasure map mentality of Legrand and Jupiter in Poe’s “Goldbug”, errant protestant date setters like Harold Camping or the doctrinal and liturgical Babylon of Rome, which more and more if the representatives here are any clue, resembles a ‘name it/claim it’ easter egg hunt. (Fabergé, facile fabrication or both?)

    What else does one call the reincarnation of the medieval fourfold sense of Scripture or the hermeutical maximalism of the Mary = Ark of the Covenant paradigm? Of course, no doubt, James Jordan is beaming/blushing with pride/pleasure. But he really needs to contact his attorney immediately and for now, forget all about the laying of hands of ordination on deaconesses. JJ soon will be the defendant in a theological property/copyright infringement lawsuit and Rome has deep pockets and plenty of canon lawyers.

    All of which to say, maybe it is time to raise the hue and cry for the return of the A Team (of Bryan Cross), who, while he doesn’t know his protestant reformed abc’s, seems to be much more capable of giving a scintillating and varied display of the typical Roman obfuscation and equivocation than the usual suspects at the moment, in which again, vain repetition of one’s assertions (as above, a working definition of propaganda) entails an argument, just as repetition of the rosary, vain or otherwise, qualifies as prayer.

  212. Sean said,

    December 5, 2010 at 7:24 am

    I see no reason why it has to get personal. How does inferring that those that disagree with you are ‘too simple’ get us anywhere? Or saying that we are ‘stupid’ or ‘sinfully ignorant?’

    Look – to anybody not named John Bugay, DT King, B Suden or Ron….the church fathers can be read by anybody. You don’t need to frame an opinion about whom has corrupted their teaching by reading vitriol filled comments. Nor do you have to take our word for it.

    Read them for yourself and let them speak for themselves. Nobody here should object to that.

  213. Sean said,

    December 5, 2010 at 7:44 am

    DT King.

    # 206

    Marian typology was not foreign to Augustine. He used a typological reference to support the Ever Virginity of Mary, a doctrine which he taught with explicit firmness.

    “This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it. Because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it” (Ezek 44:2).

    What means this closed gate in the house of the Lord, except that Mary is to be ever inviolate? What does it mean that ‘no man shall pass through it,’ save that Joseph shall not know her? And what is this:

    “The Lord alone enters in and goeth out by it,” except that the Holy Ghost shall impregnate her, and that the Lord of Angels shall be born of her?

    And what means this – “It shall be shut for evermore,” but that Mary is a Virgin before His birth, a Virgin in His birth, and a Virgin after His birth.” De Annunt. Dom. iii

    This passage of Augustine, a typological reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary, was even cited by Aquinas here.

    On the one hand we are told that using typology is ‘dangerous’ or ‘stupid.’ On the other hand, some of our objectors are happily trying to cite St. Augustine in their defense. Here is St. Augustine using a typological argument to prove that Mary was Ever Virgin. And he was not the first to make this typological argument.

  214. Sean said,

    December 5, 2010 at 7:52 am

    So – in summary, You can take their word for it that we are either ‘stupid’ or ‘sinfully ignorant’ or ‘too simple.’ You can take their word for it that our beliefs about the Holy Virgin are ‘laughable’ and ‘obscure the gospel.’ Or you can examine these things for yourself.

  215. Ron said,

    December 5, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Tom Riello (197):

    Carl Trueman, who can speak for himself, and did, referenced Bryan and actually thought what Bryan had to say was well worth considering

    And that is why Carl Trueman should think twice next time about saying anything that would give a favorable impression about anyone who is at war with the gospel. Academics stripped from building the kingdom is not kingdom-academics. No good can come of it, but the harm is obvious.

  216. steve hays said,

    December 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Augustine’s allegorical gloss, as cited by Sean, is classic inkblot exegesis. It mirrors whatever the reader projects, and not what’s actually embedded in the text.

    “On the one hand we are told that using typology is ‘dangerous’ or ‘stupid.’ ”

    i) Sean just gave us a textbook illustration.

    ii) Sean doesn’t even know the difference between allegory and typology.

    iii) There’s nothing inherently dangerous about Biblical typology. What is dangerous is extrabiblical typology masquerading as Biblical typology.

    For examples of responsible typological exegesis, see the relevant entries in The New Testament Use of the Old Testament, Beale & Carson, eds. Scholars like Darrell Bock, E. E. Ellis, R. T. France, and P. T. O’Brien are also good models of how to do it right.

  217. Sean said,

    December 5, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Steve do you have a special keyboard that comes complete with quick buttons that help you do your numbering system? i), ii), iii)

  218. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    John, re #195 & 196,

    The RCC has in recent decades made a concerted effort to engage Protestants and create an environment that there can be dialogue where there was not before. There really has been a change, not in anything in their dogmatic system, but certainly in the way they are interacting today with Protestants. After being in Rome and visiting a couple of the Jesuit churches it’s obvious that the old way of things is still alive and well within the RCC, but I think and hope that this way of thinking about Protestants is waning. We can talk to Catholics in a way that never happened before. And yes, we need an environment to do this, the responsibility for doing this to be by Protestant and Catholic sides. But obviously you disagree. So what is the alternative? If we are yelling at them and they are yelling at us what good can possibly come out of the situation? We might as well go do something else more productive.

    I’m trying to understand what problem you see with having a “safe environment” for dialogue? You speak of your particular problems with Bryan, but what does this have to do with developing forums for discussion in general?

  219. steve hays said,

    December 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Andrew,

    Bryan is like a wolf pack that preys on a herd of bison. He bides his time. Picks off the weak. The young, the sick, and the aged. The calves. Targets the injured or infirm. Snatches those that fall behind.

    He avoids the strong. When the bull bison show up, he beats a hasty retreat.

    But he waits, perched on a hill. He returns when the time is opportune. When he sees a straggler. A calf separated from the herd.

  220. BSuden said,

    December 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Read them for yourself and let them speak for themselves.

    Exactly and when we do that, the ECFs don’t quite say what you or Rome say they say. Funny that.
    Yes, Augustine was infected with an allegorical hermeneutic at times, but above and beyond that even he stated there were rules to exegeting scripture and the sky was not the limit. Moreover Augustine had enough integrity to listen to genuine criticism and even criticized himself in his Retractions. When has infallible Rome ever retracted a thing?

    Again iow, some of this isn’t even about religion. It’s about the basic fundamentals to a logical and reasonable argument. If you want to make a charge, make it. Marshall and present the evidence and proceed. So John B when he said Bryan misquoted Luther. He demonstrated it by giving the rest of the quote rather than just repeating ad infinitum the assertion that Bryan misquoted Luther. The alternative is just the same old same old from the usual suspects and they only have themselves to blame.

    Andrew McC, nobody says that the roman cabal shouldn’t have a safe place to concoct their conspiracies, only that it shouldn’t be a protestant site. That was John’s complaint (and mine) with Duo Regnibus. (FTM for some reason, I had you confused with Andy Gilman. My apologies.)

    John B. The remark by a certain lowlife which you reference is in regard to the reformed version of the Little Red Riding Hood syndrome or “Oh, what nice manners you have, Mr. Cross”. While it is true to some extent, in the bigger picture, it is immaterial.

    That is to say, while Bryan is polished, not only is the sense of his arguments popish poison, very often the form of his arguments are invalid and this from someone, we are repeatedly told, is highly educated/intelligent, a MDiv grad and a philosophy professor. IOW the last person from who we might expect such a shoddy performance and numerous amateurish blunders.

    Besides the usual equivocation and ambiguity (church always means Rome), the fallacy of the undistributed middle term is common. We have already mentioned this in regard to Bryan’s equating the apostles with those they ordained and an infallible chrism that supposedly obtains between the two despite the very real differences in that the apostles were personally chosen disciples, eyewitness of Christ and those whom he used to write the apostolic NT. Not so their successors.

    But he’s up to the same in his Tu Quoque paper (recommended by Tom R.). For example, the escape hatch from the same epistemic box of private judgement inhabited by the unclean protestants is that in John 5:39 one not only finds an interpretation of Christ, but also his Divine Person.

    But note the clever substitution below where the interpretive authority of Christ in Scripture is made equal/analogous to that of the church – the Body of Christ – in Scripture, history and tradition. This is classic bait and switch.

    But the reader who through the Scriptures discovers the Person of Christ has discovered something more than an interpretation; he has discovered a Divine Person, Someone having authority over himself, even interpretive authority over himself. Likewise, the person who reads history, tradition, and Scripture, and discovers the Church, has not merely discovered an interpretation, but has discovered something with a divine origin and hence with divine authority, and thus interpretive authority, even conscience-binding authority; he has discovered the Body of Christ.

    Rather the Scripture tells us that, yes, Christ did come in the flesh and furthermore the Holy Spirit regenerates us so that we can believe it. But while the church is the body of Christ, it is not even the spiritual Head and therefore of all things, it should not be putting words in the mouth of either Scripture or Christ. Neither is history, tradition and Scripture the same as Scripture alone nor is the spiritual Body of Christ, the Church the same as Christ’s Divine person come in the flesh, all theological sloganeering and charges of docetism to the contrary.

    As Paul said of the Jews, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” Rom. 10:2. So too the Roman church with its pseudo-Aaronic priesthood which sacrifices Christ daily in the Mass, along with its self appointed apostles that drop in occasionally here and must pervert both their God given private judgement and ours in order to convince us that Rome is the true church.

    Of course, while it is true that the Lord sovereignly hardened Pharaoh’s heart, the Scripture also tells us that Pharaoh hardened his heart Ex. 8:32. Let the reader make the application.

  221. TurretinFan said,

    December 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Andrew:

    We welcome them to engage in dialog. And those who don’t say things like “I didn’t read the examples he provided, but they’re all out of context” get serious responses.

    And then, in our experiences, when they get serious responses they tend to retreat from the discussion.

    Not all are that way, of course, but you could (if you have time) map out all the points on which some Reformed person rebutted one of the Roman points raised above, and the Roman side just changed the subject or quit the dialog. I think you would find more than a handful of examples in just this thread.

    -TurretinFan

  222. TurretinFan said,

    December 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Andrew:

    Take Sean’s response at #215 to Steve’s comments at #214 as an example.

    -TurretinFan

  223. Sean said,

    December 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    # 220 – No sense of humor allowed?

    He avoids the strong. When the bull bison show up, he beats a hasty retreat.

    Speaking of funny…

  224. TurretinFan said,

    December 5, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Sean:

    I have nothing against humor, and I got that you were trying to be funny – but humor alone isn’t an answer to Steve’s points.

    -TurretinFan

  225. BSuden said,

    December 5, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    221 Sean,

    Not at the expense of the truth. As Steve put it – in that the student can’t be greater than his teacher, Rome – Bryan is an opportunistic predator. Or if you prefer, for all practical purposes, that what his behavior represents. But what else is new?

    cheers

  226. michael said,

    December 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Wow, full belly here! That means my spirit, soul and spiritual body are busting at the seams by reading these comments above. That means, I grew spiritually fat and my skin is stretched and now cracking off my under flesh.

    Hays, some numbered comment above, to David H. wrote this:

    [iii) BTW, it would be odd if Jesus were teaching baptismal regeneration in v5 when in v8, he teaches the independence of the Spirit’s action. For if baptismal regeneration were the case, then the agency of the Spirit is far from discretionary. To the contrary, the agency of the Spirit is standardized.]

    That is brilliant!

    Don’t you agree David H?

    The Apostle Paul, after his lessons in learning learned the agency of the Spirit is standard fare for the Faithful as he noted here making a Jewish distinction between legalisms and freedoms of Biblical Christianity now known far and wide around the world by Jews and Gentiles alike, and quite possibly causes pauses to wonder if Camping’s most recent predictions of Christ returning in May of next year, though stupid and unjust, might have some validity in that Salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed and were saved and baptized and catechized and realized by those charged ahead of us to culture and train our soul to but now:::>

    Rom 7:6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

    No options here! You are serving somebody. You might be deluded in thinking you are serving yourself? You are a slave of sin and under the rule of the devil, the god of this world; or, by Election, you have been raised from the dead and serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

    I suppose Paige had in mind what followed the publication of this article? Borrowing from the human world and a beer commercial, the dialogue back and forth between you guys following the article publication, well, “it don’t get any better than this“, save dying and leaving this corrupt human flesh body to decompose while the spirit, soul and body enter into Everlasting and Eternal Life in Jesus Christ by that spiritual body!

    Here, dialogue between the minds of men, some anointed and some darkened.

    There, the Mind of Christ as it is known! yeah baby, yeah!! :)

  227. johnbugay said,

    December 5, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Andrew, 216:

    I’m trying to understand what problem you see with having a “safe environment” for dialogue? You speak of your particular problems with Bryan, but what does this have to do with developing forums for discussion in general?

    I’m not denying that dialogue is a good thing, if it can be done in an environment of honesty that leads to greater understanding.

    You said, You point to “particular problems with Bryan” — Bryan seems not to have a problem with the problems that I pointed out. What is your assessment? Did I find problems with Bryan’s presentation, or was I just imagining things?

    Do you want to create a safe zone where the kinds of obfuscations and misdirections that Bryan placed in that article go unquestioned? Do you think that sort of thing helps to foster an increase in understanding?

  228. D. T. King said,

    December 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Mr. Patrick said: And what means this – “It shall be shut for evermore,” but that Mary is a Virgin before His birth, a Virgin in His birth, and a Virgin after His birth.” De Annunt. Dom. iii
    This passage of Augustine, a typological reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary, was even cited by Aquinas here.

    Leaving aside the discussion of typology for the moment, I want to thank Mr. Patrick for this glaring example of how Romanists handle patristic sources with carelessness and incompetence. I’m sure that in his fanatical zeal Mr. Patrick searched the web to come up with this sterling example of modern day Roman Mariology to be found all the way back in the time of Augustine. Sad to say, this specific instance of Aquinas allegedly citing “Augustine” simply makes the point of how incompetent Roman apologists are when it comes to handling the patristic sources. So, remember, the next time you see one of them make the accusation of “out of context,” please be sure to bring to mind this instance where Mr. Patrick has invoked with Aquinas the name of “Augustine” to prove the robust Roman theology of Mary.

    Here’s the problem with this alleged quote from Augustine…

    1) Yes, Aquinas believes himself to be citing Augustine. There is no question about that, but the problem is that Aquinas was misinformed, and erred out of ignorance.

    2) If you type in the abbreviated title of this “Augustinian” sermon, De Annunt. Dom. iii in google, you will come up with multiple hits, virtually all of which are found either on Roman apologetic web sites, or in forums where Romanists have invoked this Augustinian quote for apologetic purposes, just as Mr. Patrick has here.

    3) Of course, the abbreviated title of this sermon, De Annunt. Dom. iii, isn’t going to help the untrained eye very much in terms of how to track it down. That requires a little bit of experience of working with patristic sources to do that; and the Romanists are not going to offer you any help beyond that abbreviated title to help one track it down.

    4) De Annunt. Dom. iii is the abbreviation of the sermon, De Annuntiatione Dominica iii. It is the third of three sermons by this title in Migne PL 39, Sermo CXCIII, CXCIV, & CXCV. Sermo CXCV is our sermon in question, i>De Annuntiatione Dominica iii in PL 39:2107-2110. These three sermons are listed among the corpus of Augustine as among those that are regarded as “suppositii,” which means “shaped from or growing out of supposition: hence suppositious evidence. In short, it’s not believed to be a authentic sermon of Augustine.

    5) New City Press has provided fresh translations and has published all of the sermons presently known to be Augustine’s, and this sermon CXCV (#195) is not found in their entire collection. To be sure, they do have a sermon numbered CXCV (#195) that is regarded as the genuine work of Augustine, and it is found in Migne, PL 38:1017-1019. It is on the Nativity of Christ, but it is not the pseudo-Augustine sermon numbered Sermo CXCV, and titled De Annuntiatione Dominica iii, which is found in PL 39:2107-2110 that Mr. Patrick has so confidently paraded before us above. Again, this alleged sermon, attributed to Augustine by Aquinas, cited and referred to repeatedly on the web by Roman apologists, is not even regarded by the scholars of their own communion to be the genuine work of Augustine. The scholars of New City Press are all members of the Roman communion, and they do not place this sermon among the corpus of Augustine. It is pseudo-Augustinian.

    6) Indications of the nature of this sermon, as pseudo-Augustinian, can be viewed in works such as the one cited here, http://books.google.com/books?id=89cMonshJKgC&lpg=PA59&dq=%22PL%2039%3A2107%22&pg=PA58#v=onepage&q=%22PL%2039%3A2107%22&f=false , where it is listed as “the African Pseudo-Augustinian Sermo CXCV” and it is referenced as “Ps. Augustine Sermon 195” in this work here, http://books.google.com/books?id=apqm9DKpkIAC&pg=PA73&dq=%22sermon+195%22+augustine&hl=en&ei=2Pj7TKruFIGdlge7h5WYBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22sermon%20195%22%20augustine&f=false

    So, I want to thank Mr. Patrick for this fine specimen of incompetence when it comes to dealing with patristic sources. Now, again, I understand that Mr. Patrick has been deceived as to the nature of this sermon attributed to “Augustine,” but, again, the next time you see him or one of his co-religionists make the complaint, “out of context,” just remember their sense of “context,” because for them, the context need not even be the early church father whom they claim you have quoted “out of context.” :)

    Cheers,
    DTK

  229. TurretinFan said,

    December 5, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Nicely done, Pastor King!

  230. D. T. King said,

    December 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Nicely done, Pastor King!

    Dear TF, all our gratitude goes to Mr. Patrick. :)

  231. michael said,

    December 5, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Pastor King,

    I just have a hard time thinking what I just read was going to cheer up Sean or any of his backers in here?

    It was, for me, quite painful to read as well. I just hope Sean’s conscience is as tender as mine when he reads the expulsion of incompetence in lieu of the Truth in the truth of the matter you bring attention to showing the deception he has fallen prey to?

    Do you believe he is being malicious by doing that or just stupid and not well informed?

    I just don’t find any need to be cheery about what you just exposed?

    But, thanks nevertheless, as you and I, and countless many others, are lovers of Truth in the truth of the matter and the lies liars put over are never going to cease until they are destroyed; so, you being an adherent to the Scriptures, too, it makes perfectly good sense to me that you would go ahead and write what you did, as it does the Apostle Paul, who wrote this exhortation to us to do:

    Eph 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
    Eph 5:7 Therefore do not become partners with them;
    Eph 5:8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
    Eph 5:9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),
    Eph 5:10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
    Eph 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

    Thank you for your kindness, which I hasten to say, for the sake of Sean and his backers in here, that it is indeed a kindness to bring into the light darkness whenever you can.

    Permit me to quote dear brother Martin in one of his famous axioms about kindness and steadfast love?

    MARTIN LUTHER

    FOR IF I DID NOT HAVE THE WELFARE OF MY BROTHER AT HEART

    I WOULD CERTAINLY BE QUIET AND LET HIM GO

    BUT THE FACT THAT I OPEN MY MOUTH AND REBUKE HIM IS AN INDICATION THAT I LOVE HIM AND SEEK HIS WELFARE

    FOR MY FAILURE TO INSTRUCT AND REBUKE MY BROTHER IS ACTUALLY AN EVIDENCE OF ANGER

  232. Sean said,

    December 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    DTK.

    Augustine was not even the first or only to draw the line that the gate in Ezekiel is a type of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Further, a ‘type’ is a type of allegory in the first place so not sure the point of your first response to this previously.

    Here is one example of another father drawing on the same type- Ambrose: “Who is this gate (Ezekiel 44:1-4), if not Mary? Is it not closed because she is a virgin? Mary is the gate through which Christ entered this world, when He was brought forth in the virginal birth and the manner of His birth did not break the seals of virginity.” (From Jurgens Volume 1 Faith of the Early Fathers “The Consecration of a Virgin and the Perpetual Virginity of Mary”)

    Ambrose’s influence on Augustine should be known here.

    Lest there be any doubt about Augustine: “Heretics called Antidicomarites are those who contradict the perpetual virginity of Mary and affirm that after Christ was born she was joined as one with her husband.” (Hersies 56)

    - I guess that makes Steve an antidicomarite!

    “It was not the visible sun, but its invisible Creator who consecrated this day for us, when the Virgin Mother, fertile of womb and integral in her virginity, brought him forth, made visible for us, by whom, when he was invisible, she too was created. A Virgin conceiving, a Virgin bearing, a Virgin pregnant, a Virgin bringing forth, a Virgin perpetual. Why do you wonder at this, O man?” (Sermons 186:1

    Why do you wonder at this O man?

    Lastly, we are already quite accustomed of your ability to cast aspirations on virtually any statement from a church father than goes in our direction.

    “Oh, that is a pseudo book. See, this scholars says so.”

    “Aquinas was wrong, I am right.”

    You are simply trying to muddy the waters here. There are many works that are held in doubt by various scholars that I’ve seen Reformed people cite.

    The fact is that Marian typology is not a new convention. The fact is that Augustine himself would call you a heretic for denying Mary’s ever-virginity.

    I see that DT King uses a different numbering system when he argues a point…

    i)
    ii)
    ii)

    versus

    1)
    2)
    3)

    I am kind of partial to the a, b, c’s myself.

  233. BSuden said,

    December 5, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    226-229
    DTK et al,

    Hark, can you hear it?
    The inevitable refrain:
    “But, but . . .That’s just a bunch of prooftexting”. If not: “You’re just a bunch of protestant meanies”.

    Oh, well.

    FTM/FWIW when I found out that Bryan Cross had been asked to participate in a dialogue with Michael Horton on Scripture for the new edition of Modern Reformation, I signed up post haste. Well, it finally came in the mail last week and I just measured up the inches of text MH and BC were respectively allotted in the dialogue, in that over at CTC the BC whines that MR editor Ryan Glomsrud only allowed him 500 words for his final statement to MH’s 1700. BC then goes on to give us a 38000? word rebuttal/appendix to his comments in the MR dialogue. Problem is, MH only got 77% of the space that BC got in the article in the first place.

    Just saying. There is supposed to be an apocryphal cosmogony that says the earth is flat and held up by an elephant standing on the back of a tortoise and from there on, it’s turtles all the way down.
    With Rome, the only difference is, it’s lies instead of turtles – all the way down.

    [We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.]

  234. Sean said,

    December 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Bob,

    Wait a minute, Bryan engaged Michael Horton? Oh, because I thought that we retreat whenever the ‘Big Elephant’ or whatever animal imagery was used earlier, enters the room?

  235. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 5, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Do you want to create a safe zone where the kinds of obfuscations and misdirections that Bryan placed in that article go unquestioned? Do you think that sort of thing helps to foster an increase in understanding?

    John, I think you know I have had similar kinds of frustrations as you have with a few of the folks on CTC, and no I don’t want to encourage misrepresentations of our positions. But it’s easy if we are not careful to get completely turned off by the groups we are trying to interact with whether they be Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, atheists, etc. In this case, I think we can be direct and forceful with our responses to the Catholic folks without making personal attacks. So what happens when you are attacked unfairly? Well, I think you know the answer to that.

    I’ve been on blogs where I feel that I’ve been dealt with unfairly and this seems to be one of your complaints with Jason’s blog. And I understand your complaint, but for me it is just the nature of such debates that they are often long and convoluted and the moderators just do no have the time or energy to address every misguided statement. I think the ideal is for us not to give offense when offense has been taken, but to respond in love. I certainly don’t mean to suggest that I’m a great example of doing this, but I do think it’s a laudable ideal.

    Cheers….

  236. D. T. King said,

    December 5, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    OK, I leave it to the readers to evaluate Mr. Patrick’s response, because I am quite satisfied with what I posted, and you don’t even see so much as a blush by Mr. Patrick when his incompetence was exposed. This, my Reformed brethren, is very typical of how Roman apologists behave.

    Again, I have to offer Mr. Patrick my gratitude for staying on the Roman apologetic “cue.”

  237. BSuden said,

    December 5, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    230 Sean,
    You still don’t get it.

    One, not only does protestantism never claim final authority for the fallible early church fathers, but that two, protestantism points out that the ECFs were all over the page and far from the monolithic consensus that agreed 300% with Rome. That is, once you determine the genuine works of the ECFs apart from the forgeries and corruptions.
    Three, there are not a lot of ECFs extant from the first three centuries to begin with.

    So what’s your point? Let me spell it out for you. The burden of proof is on Rome, not DTK or anybody else, to demonstrate conclusively that the ECFs spoke with one voice on all the peculiar Roman dogmas and practices that after the fact are claimed to be of apostolic origin. Not some, all.
    I got news for you. Ain’t gonna happen.

    (Of course, when things look this grim, you can always appeal to the lost apostolic oral traditions. Good luck with that.)

  238. BSuden said,

    December 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    232 Sean,

    No, Bryan’s argument mostly consisted of bald assertion and he gave the definite impression that he got the short end of the stick when it came to being heard in MR which definitely wasn’t true.

    IOW there are exceptions to the rule and Bryan can gin up something up if he has to. But in general, Steve H. nails Bryan’s normal m.o. as an opportunistic predator.

    FTM John Bugay’s expose of Bryan’s abuse of the quote from Luther still stands, regardless if Trueman caught it and he didn’t.

  239. D. T. King said,

    December 5, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    The fact is that Marian typology is not a new convention. The fact is that Augustine himself would call you a heretic for denying Mary’s ever-virginity.

    Actually, this has not been denied. :)

    But, then, not every ECF deemed belief in the perpetual virginity of Mary to be elevated to the status of dogma or de fide

    Basil of Caesarea comes to mind…

    Basil of Caesarea (Ad 329-379): For “he did not know her” —it says—“until she gave birth to a Son, her firstborn (Mt 1:25). But this could make one suppose that Mary, after having offered in all purity her own service in giving birth to the Lord, by virtue of the intervention of the Holy Spirit, did not subsequently refrain from normal conjugal relations.
    That would not have affected the teaching of our religion at all, because Mary’s virginity was necessary until the service of the Incarnation, and what happened afterward need not be investigated in order to affect the doctrine of the mystery.
    But since lovers of Christ do not allow themselves to hear that the Mother of God ceased at a given moment to be a virgin, we consider their testimony to be sufficient. For translation, see Luigi Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought, Thomas Buffer, translator, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1999), p. 146.
    Greek Text: «Οὐκ ἐγίνωσκε γὰρ αὐτὴν, φησὶν, ἕως οὗ ἔτεκε τὸν υἱὸν αὑτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον.» Τοῦτο δὲ ἤδη ὑπόνοιαν παρέχει, ὅτι μετὰ τὸ καθαρῶς ὑπηρετήσασθαι τῇ γεννήσει τοῦ Κυρίου τῇ ἐπιτελεσθείσῃ διὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου, τὰ νενομισμένα τοῦ γάμου ἔργα μὴ ἀπαρνησαμένης τῆς Μαρίας. Ἡμεῖς δὲ, εἰ καὶ μηδὲν τῷ τῆς εὐσεβείας παραλυμαίνεται λόγῳ (μέχρι γὰρ τῆς κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν ὑπηρεσίας ἀναγκαία ἡ παρθενία, τὸ δʼ ἐφεξῆς ἀπολυπραγμόνητον τῷ λόγῳ τοῦ μυστηρίου), ὅμως διὰ τὸ μὴ καταδέχεσθαι τῶν φιλοχρίστων τὴν ἀκοὴν, ὅτι ποτὲ ἐπαύσατο εἶναι παρθένος ἡ Θεοτόκος, ἐκείνας ἡγούμεθα τὰς μαρτυρίας αὐτάρ κεις. Homilia in sanctam Christi generationem, §5, PG 31:1468.

    Roman Mariologist Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M. informs us concerning Basil’s view…

    Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M.: The author [Basil] also focuses his attention on the possibility of conjugal relations between Mary and St. Joseph after the birth of Christ; he rejects this possibility, but not by appealing to dogmatic belief; he has no consciousness of any obligation from this angle, and even generously admits that there is no such obligation; faith, he candidly admits, demands only that we believe in the permanence of Mary’s virginity up to (and including) the incarnation; after the virginal conception there is no obligation imposed by faith. See Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M., ed., Mariology (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1955), Vol. 2, pp. 276-277.

    Carol: For, it is evident from this discourse that in a region of the Greek world, apparently Asia Minor, an important Churchman, without any doubt the Archbishop of Caesarea, St. Basil, did not hold the perpetual virginity of Mary as a dogmatic truth, nor did his metropolitan Churches. Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M., ed., Mariology (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1955), Vol. 2, p. 277.

    Thus, Basil would, by modern day Roman standards, be regarded as a heretic for denying the perpetual virginity of Mary to be a matter of dogma. Oh yes, he believed in the PV of Mary, but denied it to be a matter of dogma. And Carol says that “his metropolitan Churches” did not regard it as a matter of dogma either.

  240. Ron said,

    December 5, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Sean re: 230

    I see you did not interact with David’s defense of his claim, in which he noted that scholars from your own communion disagree with you and consequently agree with him. In fact, rather than interact with his claim, you affirmed another observation many of us made, which is you and your cohorts have no problem ignoring refutations and moving on to say something else even more incredible. For instance:

    Lastly, we are already quite accustomed of your ability to cast aspirations on virtually any statement from a church father than goes in our direction.

    Sean, is there any statement from a church father that David “cast aspirations on” that in the end you agreed with David and recanted? If not, then isn’t it so that by your own standards you yourself can be accused of “casting aspirations on virtually any statement from a church father than goes in our direction”? The way in which you reason, with all your double standards and hypocrisy, is shameful. What’s doubly shameful is that you could care less whether what I just said is true.

    “Oh, that is a pseudo book. See, this scholars says so.”

    Sean, David didn’t just claim that you were disagreeing with just any scholar but with scholars from your own communion. Your disagreement is with them, Sean. Yet even that does not give you occasion to pause, though it should. So, your willingness to ignore what is before you (again) is just another example of why you have zero credibility from those acquainted with your musings.

    “Aquinas was wrong, I am right.”

    Sean, if you understood the implications of what you are saying, then you would say in the same breath and just as loudly that “the scholars of New City Press are all wrong and I, Sean Patrick, am right.” Agan, your double standard doesn’t phase you in the least.

    You are simply trying to muddy the waters here.

    No Sean, all David has done is appeal to scholars that you would have no problem appealing to if they supported your position. Bring your one line assertions that you pass off as arguments to them.

    Ron

  241. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Mr. Patrick said: The fact is that Marian typology is not a new convention. The fact is that Augustine himself would call you a heretic for denying Mary’s ever-virginity.

    I am afraid that Mr. Patrick has fallen victim here to his own sword, for it cuts both ways – the modern day Roman communion would, by the standard of its present day dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary, regard Augustine as a heretic for denying that dogma, and Augustine “would call him a heretic for denying that Christ alone was sinless.”

    Augustine (354-430): Let us hold fast, then, the confession of this faith, without filtering or failure. One alone is there who was born without sin, in the likeness of sinful flesh, who lived without sin amid the sins of others, and who died without sin on account of our sins. “Let us turn neither to the right hand nor to the left.” For to turn to the right hand is to deceive oneself, by saying that we are without sin; and to turn to the left is to surrender oneself to one’s sins with a sort of impunity, in I know not how perverse and depraved a recklessness. “God indeed knoweth the ways on the right hand,” even He who alone is without sin, and is able to blot out our sins; “but the ways on the left hand are perverse,” in friendship with sins. NPNF1: Vol. V, On the Merits and Forgiveness of Sins, and on the Baptism of Infants, Book II, Chapter 57 [XXXV].

    Augustine (354-430): In a similar way we can speak of our Lord’s “sin,” meaning what sin brought about, because he assumed his flesh from that very stock that by sin had deserved death. To put it briefly: Mary, descended from Adam, died because of sin. Adam died because of sin, and the Lord’s flesh, derived from Mary, died to abolish sins. John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., The Works of Saint Augustine, Expositions of the Psalms 33-50, Part 3, Vol. 16, trans. Maria Boulding, O.S.B. (Hyde Park: New City Press, 2000), Exposition 2 of Psalm 34 (35), p. 62.
    Latin text: Sic ergo peccatum Domini, quod factum est de peccato, quia inde carnem assumpsit, de massa ipsa quae mortem meruerat ex peccato. Etenim ut celerius dicam, Maria ex Adam mortua propter peccatum, Adam mortuus propter peccatum, et caro Domini ex Maria mortua est propter delenda peccata. In Psalmum XXXIV, Sermo II, §3, PL 36:335.

    And quoting this passage from Ambrose, as he often did (even though Romanists offer a proof text from In Psalmum David CXVIII Expositio, Sermo 22, §30, PL 15:1521B which does not explicitly affirm the immaculate conception), He affirms with Ambrose…

    Augustine (354-430 AD): Moreover, when expounding the Gospel according to Luke, he [i.e. Ambrose] says: “It was no cohabitation with a husband which opened the secrets of the Virgin’s womb; rather was it the Holy Ghost which infused immaculate seed into her unviolated womb. For the Lord Jesus alone of those who are born of woman is holy, inasmuch as He experienced not the contact of earthly corruption, by reason of the novelty of His immaculate birth; nay, He repelled it by His heavenly majesty.” NPNF1: Vol. V, Augustin’s Anti-Pelagian Works, The Grace of Christ And on Original Sin, Book II On Original Sin, Chapter 47-Sentences from Ambrose in favor of Original Sin.

    This understanding of Augustine’s view of Mary is likewise affirmed by Roman scholar, Daniel E. Doyle, O.S.A.

    Daniel E. Doyle, O.S.A.: Augustine never concedes that Mary was sinless but prefers to dismiss the question: “Let us then leave aside the holy Virgin Mary; on account of the honor due to the Lord, I do not want to raise any questions here about her when we are dealing with sins” (nat. et gr. 36.42). Since medieval times this passage has sometimes been invoked to ground Augustine’s presumed acceptance of the doctrine of the immaculate conception. It is clear nonetheless that, given the various theories regarding the transmission of original sin current in his time, Augustine in that passage would not have meant to imply Mary’s immunity from it. Julian of Eclanum had accused him of being worse than Jovinian in consigning Mary to the devil by the condition of her birth (condition nascendi). Augustine, in Contra Julian opus imperfectum 4.122, replies that Mary was spared this by the grace of her rebirth (“ipsa condition solvitur gratia renascendi”), implying her baptism. His understanding of concupiscence as an integral part of all marital relations made it difficult, if not impossible, to accept that she herself was conceived immaculately. He further specifies in the following chapter (5.15.52) that the body of Mary, “although it came from this [concupiscence], nevertheless did not transmit it for she did not conceive in this way.” Lastly, De Genesi ad litteram 10.18.32 asserts: “And what more undefiled than the womb of the Virgin, whose flesh, although it came from procreation tainted by sin, nevertheless did not conceive from that source.” Allan D. Fitzgerald, O.S.A., ed., Augustine Through the Ages: An Encyclopedia (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1999), p. 544.

    So, Mr. Patrick would also be a Pelagian heretic, according to Augustine’s view, for affirming that Mary was immaculately conceived. But never fear! because when one lives in the “never-never land” of Roman apologetics double standards do not exist. :)

  242. paigebritton said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:17 am

    If I may, I’d like to steer the conversation away from the mulberry bush of Perpetual Virginity and over to the topic of the Immaculate Conception, which is a bit more to the point of the post. Both are post-biblical doctrines based on the Tradition, but the difference is that Perpetual Virginity is an interpretation of historical events – what Mary did or didn’t do after Jesus’ birth – while the IC is a theological confession of supernatural events – what God did so that Mary would be a pure channel for the Christ. (Granted, though, the supernatural addition of some to the PV idea, that Jesus exited Mary’s womb in a non-natural way in order to preserve her virginity intact; but I don’t believe this detail is part of the official Marian dogma.)

    Both dogmas do share the feature of reading back into the Scriptures the desired interpretations.

    Some topics to explore might include:

    Why does Catholic theology necessitate the IC?

    Why does Reformed theology not necessitate an IC of Mary?

    We don’t differ in our theology just because we want to reject everything Catholic; we differ because our basis is the Scripture. Considered collectively, our respective theologies point to different expectations of God’s work in past and present history. Why does Catholic theology lend itself to the credulous looking for Mary’s face in a pop tart, while Reformed Protestant theology does not? What larger statement are we making about God and about what is really going on in the universe, and where did we get the ideas we promote?

    [Side note: though Lane has given me the privilege of authoring here, I am hesitant to act as GB “moderator” or “bouncer,” because this may not be an appropriate role for me to take; and even if it were, it may add insult to injury to anyone who finds it distasteful that I am writing at all. So I ask that we’d all deal with grace and creativity with this situation. Thanks!]

  243. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:23 am

    If I may, I’d like to steer the conversation away from the mulberry bush of Perpetual Virginity and over to the topic of the Immaculate Conception, which is a bit more to the point of the post.

    Dear Paige,

    My latest post caught in the spam filter addresses that topic. I’d be grateful if you or Lane could release it.

    Thanks,
    DTK

  244. johnbugay said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Why does Catholic theology lend itself to the incredulous looking for Mary’s face in a pop tart, while Reformed Protestant theology does not?

    She’s in a Pop Tart now???

    I thought it was just grilled cheese sandwiches.

    Darn, I miss all the good stuff.

  245. paigebritton said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:56 am

    DTK – I don’t see it in the queue. Are you referring to #237 above?

    John — I dunno, David H. mentioned the pop tart (#198).

  246. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Dear Paige,

    No, I will try to post it again.

    Thanks,
    DTK

  247. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:01 am

    #234 – All you did was cast doubt on the authenticity of the letter cited by Aquinas. Even if this was a ‘pseudo’ letter it does not change the fact that Augustine taught the PV of Mary.

    # 235 – The burden of proof is on Rome, not DTK or anybody else, to demonstrate conclusively that the ECFs spoke with one voice on all the peculiar Roman dogmas and practices that after the fact are claimed to be of apostolic origin.

    Bob. It is not the claim that every church father was agreed on every matter of doctrine and practice. Dogmas do not become dogmas until they are defined as dogma for the whole church. We expect to find diversity in belief about various dogmas in the church prior to those dogmas being dogmatically defined.

    # 237 – Basil was right, the PV of Mary was not a dogma (de fide) of the church in AD 350. Again, you are just trying to confuse people. I never said that the PV was a ‘de fide’ doctrine of the church in the 3rd century.

    #238 – I see you did not interact with David’s defense of his claim, in which he noted that scholars from your own communion disagree with you and consequently agree with him.

    David throws a lot of data on the board at a time. I have not read the document that he cited which casts doubt on the authenticity of letter cited. You need to realize that there are masses of scholars whom are often in disagreement with one another about which letters and documents are genuine. DT King cites numerous works in his ‘volume’ which are held by some scholars to not be genuine.

    Sean, David didn’t just claim that you were disagreeing with just any scholar but with scholars from your own communion.

    And there are other scholars in my communion that agree with me. Such as St. Thomas Aquinas. You may have heard of him.

  248. paigebritton said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Shoot, I think I found it and then killed it by accident. WordPress is only intuitive to a point. We’ll try that again!
    pb

  249. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Mr. Patrick wrote: DT King cites numerous works in his ‘volume’ which are held by some scholars to not be genuine.

    OK, help us out here and identify these. :)

  250. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:07 am

    # 237 – Basil was right, the PV of Mary was not a dogma (de fide) of the church in AD 350. Again, you are just trying to confuse people. I never said that the PV was a ‘de fide’ doctrine of the church in the 3rd century.

    I’m not trying to confuse anyone, and I think I’ve shown that you are sufficiently confused without any help from me. If it is true now, it was true then. You see, only Rome adds to the apostolic deposit.

  251. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Paige,

    Thank you for finding that post.

    DTK

  252. paigebritton said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Oh, wait, I did it right after all – see #239 everybody, for DTK on the Immaculate Conception.

  253. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:26 am

    #234 – All you did was cast doubt on the authenticity of the letter cited by Aquinas. Even if this was a ‘pseudo’ letter it does not change the fact that Augustine taught the PV of Mary.

    Well, let’s see, now, the first time it was a sermon that Aquinas was citing as “Augustinian,” and now we’re told that Aquinas was citing a letter. And Mr. accuses others of confusing folk? :)

  254. louis said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Amazing that a person can’t just say, “my bad, I guess I was wrong about that quote, sorry.” This is dialogue?

  255. steve hays said,

    December 6, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Sean operates according to the “fake but accurate” rules of evidence. No wonder he’s a papist.

  256. steve hays said,

    December 6, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Sean said,

    “Wait a minute, Bryan engaged Michael Horton? Oh, because I thought that we retreat whenever the ‘Big Elephant’ or whatever animal imagery was used earlier, enters the room?”

    Given the word limit in that debate, it’s easy for Bryan to wait out the clock.

  257. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 8:36 am

    After Pastor King demonstrated that the Sean had quoted from a pseudographic work, Sean initially responded: “Augustine was not even the first or only to draw the line that the gate in Ezekiel is a type of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” But for some reason Sean does not think it’s incumbent on him to actually produce some example of Augustine actually doing this – he can just assert it in the face of the evidence.

    Sean then went on to show that Augustine believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary (which no one had denied) and to assert that Augustine would have considered people who denied the perpetual virginity to be heretics. His logic is actually flawed regarding the antidicomarianites, but we do not need to address that. Why not? Because Pastor King demonstrated that Basil would not have considered people heretics for denying the PV of Mary.

    And then Sean claims that there was no de fide dogma of the PV in “third century” (which isn’t really relevant to Basil who is 4th century or Augustine who is 4th-5th century). But what Sean doesn’t realize is that he was trying to claim that Augustine would call deniers of PV heretics. So was it a de fide dogma or not? The answer, of course, is that it was not.

    But Sean still does not rethink either his claim that Augustine actually taught the “typology” (actually, analogy, as Steve pointed out and Sean still didn’t understand) that Sean had alleged based on a pseudographic document, nor does Sean rethink his claim that Augustine would have regarded us as heretics for denying the PV of Mary.

    And like David H., Sean demonstrates how much interest he has in the truth:

    David throws a lot of data on the board at a time. I have not read the document that he cited which casts doubt on the authenticity of letter cited. You need to realize that there are masses of scholars whom are often in disagreement with one another about which letters and documents are genuine. DT King cites numerous works in his ‘volume’ which are held by some scholars to not be genuine.

    But even if we can excuse Sean for opining on the matter without reading, Sean’s generalizations here are simply based on his ignorance. This particular sermon he cited from Augustine was placed in the category of suppositious sermons even by the Benedictine editors. The standard collections of Augustine’s works don’t identify it as authentic, and – in fact – the scholars that refer to the work refer to it as pseudo-graphic.

    And additionally, Sean alleges that ” DT King cites numerous works in his ‘volume’ which are held by some scholars to not be genuine.” This comment is probably not a lie, because Sean (we suppose) takes such a low view of scholarship that he supposes that almost every work has doubtful authenticity according to at least one scholar.

    I don’t know why Sean has such a negative view of scholarship. Perhaps it is because so many of Rome’s favorite sources turn out to be pseudographic (check out the saga of Steve Ray’s attempt to find the ‘Mary as Ark of the Covenant’ motif in the fathers here). Perhaps it is because of the scholars that John Bugay has identified that challenge Rome’s historical claims.

    Who knows? I don’t think Sean actually realizes that there’s no legitimate basis for claiming that the work he attributed to Augustine isn’t authentic. I don’t think Sean is actually aware that Pastor King was careful to cite from authentic works in his book.

    But I do think that Sean and Dave should be more careful to have evidence before they start making accusations (and perhaps the moderators could encourage them to be mindful of this need for evidence to back up accusations, particularly against elders). I notice that Dave still has not returned to back up his claim about out of context quotations, and I trust we will not see examples from Sean of Pastor King citing numerous works that “some scholars” consider to be inauthentic.

    -TurretinFan

  258. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 9:46 am

    OK – I won’t have much time this week and as you can see I am getting it from several different people.

    a) I have perused one of the ‘volumes’, I believe the 2nd of David T King and William and noted that it contained hundreds of citations. I will go back to my buddy and ask if I can borrow it. What will you give me if I can show that some scholarship disputes the authenticity of at least one of the works cited? I have not yet reviewed all of DT King’s citations against available scholarship but I will. I did base my comment on a statistical probability coupled with the fact that so many works are disputed. If I am wrong and DT King only cited works that are completely affirmed as authentic by all available scholarship than I’ll come back and admit that I am wrong.

    b) TFan -

    But for some reason Sean does not think it’s incumbent on him to actually produce some example of Augustine actually doing this .

    No, I did produce an example of Augustine doing this, you just don’t accept that data.

    Augustine believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary (which no one had denied)

    Which makes it all the more interesting that ya’ll are so gun-ho about rejecting the work that Aquinas cited in his discussion about the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    If push comes to shove and DT King is right that the work cited is not authentic it would merely show that the typological argument for Mary’s PV of the gate in Ezekiel was not recorded in an authentic work. It does not change what Augustine taught about Mary. Even so, Augustine did write extensively on Mary as a type for the Church (giving birth to Christ, being both Mother and member etc). And, you have to contend with the fact that contemporary church fathers did see the gate in Ezekiel as a type representing Mary, such as Ambrose.

    Augustine would have considered people who denied the perpetual virginity to be heretics.

    Augustine gave a word for people who denied it in a work about heresies.

    Because Pastor King demonstrated that Basil would not have considered people heretics for denying the PV of Mary.

    I never said that Basil would have considered somebody a heretic for denying the PV.

    But what Sean doesn’t realize is that he was trying to claim that Augustine would call deniers of PV heretics. So was it a de fide dogma or not?

    I don’t believe it was understood to be ‘de fide’ at that time and I never said that it was, I merely demonstrated that Augustine recognized it as heresy.

    And like David H., Sean demonstrates how much interest he has in the truth

    A re-occurring acquisition in this scorched earth apologetics of the Reformed bloggers.

    I have not read the document that he cited which casts doubt on the authenticity of letter cited.

    Yes, I can not reasonable be held responsible to have interacted with every possible work with which David T King may drum up here.

    This comment is probably not a lie, because Sean (we suppose) takes such a low view of scholarship that he supposes that almost every work has doubtful authenticity according to at least one scholar.

    Than you miss my point. My point is not that I have ‘such a low view of scholarship.’ My point is simply that many works are disputed as ‘authentic’ in academia. It is almost unavoidable. Even biblical letters are held by some scholarship to not be authentic. Take Peter Lampe. You may have heard of him. He argues that 2nd Timothy is not an authentic Pauline letter. Does this stop David T King from citing 2nd Timothy in his sermons? Why not? If I cannot cite a work of St. Augustine because some hold it to be spurious than what gives DT King the right to ignore scholarly opinion?

    So, if DT King wants to dismiss a work based on the conclusions of a set of scholars than lets see if he is consistent with that application.

    I am willing to grant that De Annuntiatione Dominica iii could be pseudo-Augustinian. I don’t see how it changes anything for your position. If you want to take comfort in believing that Augustine did not make an argument about Mary’s PV based on the closed gate of Ezekiel but still professed the PV nonetheless than that is your business.

  259. Richard said,

    December 6, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Hi Paige,

    Interesting, I suppose the problem I see is allowing that God worked providentially in giving the Church the canon, when was the decision of which books are in made? Jerome and Augustine disagreed on the outer limit of the canon, what was the Church’s official position? I can’t find one, yes I can agree that there are 66 books, but I am not 100% sure we can say there are only 66 books.

    Just wondering how you would respond to this type of argument.

    GB

  260. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Sean:

    You wrote:

    a) I have perused one of the ‘volumes’, I believe the 2nd of David T King and William and noted that it contained hundreds of citations. I will go back to my buddy and ask if I can borrow it. What will you give me if I can show that some scholarship disputes the authenticity of at least one of the works cited? I have not yet reviewed all of DT King’s citations against available scholarship but I will. I did base my comment on a statistical probability coupled with the fact that so many works are disputed. If I am wrong and DT King only cited works that are completely affirmed as authentic by all available scholarship than I’ll come back and admit that I am wrong.

    One does not equal “numerous,” which was your claim. Why not just admit that there was no actual substance behind your accusation, and let it go? We already know that there was no substance, just as we know that if we ask for the statistical probabilities you had in mind, you’ll have to admit that you don’t actually know the probabilities, you’re just guessing.

    In response to my comment: “But for some reason Sean does not think it’s incumbent on him to actually produce some example of Augustine actually doing this”

    You wrote:

    No, I did produce an example of Augustine doing this, you just don’t accept that data.

    No, you didn’t. Citing a spurious work is not producing an example of Augustine engaging in the particular analogy you identified.

    I had written: “Augustine believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary (which no one had denied)”

    You replied:

    Which makes it all the more interesting that ya’ll are so gun-ho about rejecting the work that Aquinas cited in his discussion about the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Yes. It should make you think twice about blowing off the scholarship on this point, since we’re obviously not rejecting the work simply on the fact that it affirms the PV.

    You continued:

    If push comes to shove and DT King is right that the work cited is not authentic it would merely show that the typological argument for Mary’s PV of the gate in Ezekiel was not recorded in an authentic work.

    a) There’s really no push or shove on the side of authenticity. All the evidence that has been brought to the table shows that the work is inauthentic.

    b) It’s not a question of whether the argument was “recorded” in an authentic work. It’s not as though the contents of inauthentic works represent an oral tradition of Augustine, or something like that.

    c) It is a figurative interpretation of prophecy, not typology, in Ambrose (for example), although that distinction seems to elude you.

    You continued:

    It does not change what Augustine taught about Mary.

    It might change whether he viewed the Ezechiel 44 prophecy as being about Mary. Or it might not – perhaps somewhere in his authentic works (which you haven’t identified) he says something similar to what Ambrose said. It’s possible. But before you can say “Augustine said that,” you actually have to have evidence that he did.

    And no, it does not change his mistaken belief in PV.

    You continued:

    Even so, Augustine did write extensively on Mary as a type for the Church (giving birth to Christ, being both Mother and member etc).

    I’m not sure what you think this has to do with our discussion, except that some of the words are the same (i.e. Augustine, Mary, and type).

    You wrote:

    And, you have to contend with the fact that contemporary church fathers did see the gate in Ezekiel as a type representing Mary, such as Ambrose.

    I’m quite willing to accept the facts. That’s not a typology, but a figurative interpretation of prophecy. I’m not sure what you think you gain by the fact that Ambrose appears to have made such an interpretation. But I’m sure folks would be happy to hear what you think you gain from that!

    You wrote:

    Augustine would have considered people who denied the perpetual virginity to be heretics.

    Augustine gave a word for people who denied it in a work about heresies.

    No. He gave a word for a group of people who were called heretics, for whom the most notable feature of their theology was their denial of the virginity of Mary. If you were more familiar with them and the historical situation, you would be aware that they initially denied Mary’s virginity before Jesus’ birth, and subsequently revised their view.

    You continued: “I never said that Basil would have considered somebody a heretic for denying the PV.”

    We didn’t think you said that.

    You continued: “I don’t believe it was understood to be ‘de fide’ at that time and I never said that it was, I merely demonstrated that Augustine recognized it as heresy.”

    Actually, you asserted something to that effect. His list actually says that the group is “called heretics.” He doesn’t specifically designate the simple denial of PV as a heresy – and there is a better explanation for why they are considered heretics – namely because initially they denied the ante partum virginity of Mary.

    But even if Augustine did think that – you yourself seem to admit that the dogma had not been defined – and before the dogma had been defined, how could anyone properly designate denial of the dogma as “heresy”? Please explain to us (and then to Basil).

    You wrote: “A re-occurring acquisition in this scorched earth apologetics of the Reformed bloggers.”

    Yes, when people admit that they haven’t read something and still feel the authority to critique it, we point that out. If that’s considered “scorched earth,” so be it.

    You wrote:

    Yes, I can not reasonable be held responsible to have interacted with every possible work with which David T King may drum up here.

    a) No one said you are held responsible for that.

    b) Even more than that, you don’t have to interact with anything that anyone says. No one is forcing you to respond to Pastor King’s comments at all, or to read the rebuttals he provides.

    c) But if you want to criticize someone’s position, and you don’t bother to read their position – that seems problematic. Doesn’t it seem that way to you?

    You wrote:

    Than you miss my point. My point is not that I have ‘such a low view of scholarship.’ My point is simply that many works are disputed as ‘authentic’ in academia. It is almost unavoidable. Even biblical letters are held by some scholarship to not be authentic. Take Peter Lampe. You may have heard of him. He argues that 2nd Timothy is not an authentic Pauline letter. Does this stop David T King from citing 2nd Timothy in his sermons? Why not? If I cannot cite a work of St. Augustine because some hold it to be spurious than what gives DT King the right to ignore scholarly opinion?

    Yes, I understood that you meant exactly that. What you don’t appear to realize is the difference between someone speculating against the consensus of scholarly authority and the consensus of scholarly authority rejecting a work as spurious. Lampe’s rejection of 2Tim’s authorship (while not unique) is against the weight of the evidence of scholarship. The rejection of the work you cited seems to have no scholarly opponents at all (assuming we exclude the naive medievalists who adopted lost of works that are demonstrably spurious).

    And, of course, while the authorship of the Biblical works is of interest to a wide array of scholars, the authorship of many other works is of much less general interest, except to scholars of the particular father. Thus, for example, as you do your careful study of Pastor King’s citations, you may find that for many works it is hard to find any argument at all about their authenticity.

    For example, in the case of Augustine, he wrote a book called the Retractions. This book is invaluable for establishing the Augustinian corpus, because he specifically identifies his own works, and sometimes criticizes parts of the works. He does not, however, include things like letters and sermons in that list.

    As a result, I doubt you’ll find any serious scholar disputing the idea that Augustine wrote “The City of God,” “The Confessions,” or “The Commentary on the Literal Meaning of Genesis,” for example. On the other hand, there are a significant number of sermons attributed to him that have been identified as spurious.

    You continued: “So, if DT King wants to dismiss a work based on the conclusions of a set of scholars than lets see if he is consistent with that application.”

    “Let’s see” is the right attitude. I commend you for that. But remember that “Let’s see,” requires some investigation. Feel free to examine Pastor King’s citations and see if you can discover works that he’s cited as authentic that are actually inauthentic. I’m sure that Pastor King would welcome such an examination. In fact, he requested it already above.

    You wrote:

    I am willing to grant that De Annuntiatione Dominica iii could be pseudo-Augustinian. I don’t see how it changes anything for your position. If you want to take comfort in believing that Augustine did not make an argument about Mary’s PV based on the closed gate of Ezekiel but still professed the PV nonetheless than that is your business.

    Well – I’m not sure what the impact should be on my position from the fact that Augustine held to the PV. What do you think the impact should be? What should I do with that information?

    -TurretinFan

  261. louis said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Sean said: “if I can show that some scholarship disputes the authenticity of at least one of the works cited…. I did base my comment on a statistical probability coupled with the fact that so many works are disputed.”

    Could you clarify this please? Are you saying that you made an accusation about the misuse of sources against someone, based on the statistical probability that at least one quote among hundreds might subsequently be shown to be disputed by some scholar somewhere?

  262. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:31 am

    FYI –

    Some more examples of ECF’s using Ezekiel 44:2 as a type for Mary’s womb:

    In “A Commentary on the Apostles Creed” by as recorded in “A Select Library of Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church” (Scfhaff)

    Rufinus writes: The Prophet Ezekiel too had predicted the miraculous manner of that birth calling Mary figuratively “the gate of the Lord.”

    Jerome cites the ‘gate of the Lord’ as Mary as well.

    Tfan – what is the difference between a ‘type’ and ‘figurative interpretation of prophecy?’ I think you are splitting hairs on the distinction.

    When the fathers see Mary as a fulfillment of the Ark of the Covenant do you also refuse to call that typology?

  263. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:35 am

    If I am wrong and DT King only cited works that are completely affirmed as authentic by all available scholarship than I’ll come back and admit that I am wrong.

    This is in essence the admission of a lie. Unbelievable.

  264. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:40 am

    # 263

    What lie did I tell?

  265. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Yes, I can not reasonable be held responsible to have interacted with every possible work with which David T King may drum up here.

    No one expects that – what one expects is for one to be responsible for one’s claims, and that includes the alleged works that one cites. My point was and is about the carelessness and incompetence with which Roman apologists such as yourself handle patristic sources – That includes “every possible work” one “may drum up here,” because it goes to incompetence.

  266. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Mr. Patrick wrote: DT King cites numerous works in his ‘volume’ which are held by some scholars to not be genuine.

    Then Mr. Patrick comes back and says: If I am wrong and DT King only cited works that are completely affirmed as authentic by all available scholarship than I’ll come back and admit that I am wrong.

    This is the lie. You made an accusation that you didn’t even know to be true, and then came back and claimed “if I am wrong…” That demonstrates a lie. Now, I don’t expect you to understand that, because I think it demonstrates just how irresponsible and incompetent you are. But it is the admission of a lie.

    I would kindly ask the moderators to ask Mr. Patrick not to make claims that he refuses to prove. I do not mind any of my work being subject to same scrutiny to which I hold Roman apologists. I don’t make claims that I don’t even know to be true, and yet that is precisely what Mr. Patrick has done.

  267. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:53 am

    That linked post on the ark is taken from Steve Ray (or perhaps vice versa, though I doubt it) and has been exposed as exhibiting the same kind of reliance on pseudographic works as we have seen already a few times (link to several of my posts debunking Steve Ray’s list).

    No doubt some of the fathers viewed Ezechiel 44:2 as referring to Mary.

    A type is something that foreshadows something else. For example, the lambs sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins foreshadowed Christ.

    A figurative interpretation is a bit different. For example, when Isaiah prophecies regarding a root out of dry ground, he’s speaking of Jesus – not a real exposed root that pre-figures Jesus.

    The claims regarding the ark of the covenant are attempted typologies. The ark was a real thing, but the claim is that it foreshadowed something else. The claims regarding Ezechiel 44:2 are attempted interpretations of prophecy.

    -TurretinFan

  268. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:54 am

    You know, nevermind. In this scorched earth apologetics it is apparent that some are simply looking for the slightest bit of room to jump in like vultures when somebody slips a bit when making a point. I’ve already further elaborated on my comment – that it was based on a probobilty – and I do intend to check the data…only to be jumped on by multiple people in an effort to prove that they ‘caught me’ in a lie or something.

    I am here trying to have conversations with 5-6 different people and the second you see a misteep in something I wrote you jump in and call me a liar.

    My point is that generally there exists diversity in scholarly opinion about the authenticity of various works. DT King’s book cites so many works that it is highly improbable that not a single work is disputed somewhere.

  269. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    TFan -

    “A type is something that foreshadows something else.”

    It seems to me that the fathers seeing the gate in Ezekiel are seeing it as a foreshadowing of Mary. Are they not?

  270. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Notice how the Romanist raises the bar: If I am wrong and DT King only cited works that are completely affirmed as authentic by all available scholarship than I’ll come back and admit that I am wrong.

    Completely affirmed, by all available scholarship? All scholarship need not “completely affirm.” What one pays attention to is when a large number of scholars deny a work’s authenticity. Again, this goes to the incompetence of Mr. Patrick’s understanding of how works are assessed by scholarship.

  271. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    that it was based on a probobilty

    So the accusation is based upon what in your mind is a probability, and that justifies the lie? Unbelievable. Folks, there’s incompetence at its finest.

  272. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Why can’t you be gracious Pastor King?

    I made a hasty comment while trying to answer multiple people at once. I clarified my statement when asked for clarification. That does not make me a liar. Sloppy? Yes. But I’ve clarified my statement and the intent behind my statement several times now.

  273. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    What will you give me if I can show that some scholarship disputes the authenticity of at least one of the works cited? I have not yet reviewed all of DT King’s citations against available scholarship but I will. I did base my comment on a statistical probability coupled with the fact that so many works are disputed. If I am wrong and DT King only cited works that are completely affirmed as authentic by all available scholarship than I’ll come back and admit that I am wrong.

    Sean,

    So what you’re saying is that although you haven’t reviewed all of David’s citations against available scholarship, what you have reviewed of his seems accurate and defensible. Given that David is batting “a thousand” why would you guess that “statistical probability” is on your side to find an incredible source? Even if I grant you the claim that so many works are disputed, it would appear from your research thus far that David only references reputable sources, but that statistic doesn’t enter into your hunch about the rest of David’s research. Frankly, I doubt you’ve checked out any of his sources. I would also say, given statistical probability, that you’re simply making another wild claim, like the claim that you’re going to now review all of David’s citations. Tell me Sean, is Bryan Cross patting you on the back and saying good job, keep up the good work? If he is, then you really need to find some new friends. If he’s saying nothing, then you still need to find some new friends – some that will tell you when to keep silent.

    Ron

  274. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Sean wrote:

    My point is that generally there exists diversity in scholarly opinion about the authenticity of various works. DT King’s book cites so many works that it is highly improbable that not a single work is disputed somewhere.

    a) And that point is irrelevant, since this is not really a “disputed” issue. It’s an issue where all the evidence presented is that you quoted a pseudographic work.

    b) Rather than making excuses like “well, scholars dispute the authenticity of lots of works,” you could just admit your mistake and move on. Every time you make excuses for yourself … well I think you see what happens.

    c) You didn’t claim just one – you claimed “numerous.” Now you have retreated to one. But this is still in the realm of a guess. You guess there probably must be one …

    And then, to top it off, you link us to a page filled with more citation of spurious works – all the while complaining that if we point this out as something less than honest, we’re scorching the earth.

    Ugh.

    -TurretinFan

  275. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I am here trying to have conversations with 5-6 different people and the second you see a misteep in something I wrote you jump in and call me a liar.

    Now, we have another excuse for one’s irresponsibility. You see, the man brings this on himself, but I honestly don’t believe the man is able to see it. No one is holding a gun to his head and forcing him to make all these irresponsible claims. But when he is called to account, his response is that all the ones interacting with the nonsense he’s introducing are culpable for his “missteps.” It is truly a Walter Mitty world in which this man lives. :)

  276. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I wrote: “A type is something that foreshadows something else.”

    Sean replied: “It seems to me that the fathers seeing the gate in Ezekiel are seeing it as a foreshadowing of Mary. Are they not?”

    “The fathers,” i.e. the handful you identified, appear to be saying that the door is to be understood figuratively of Mary. They do not appear to be treating the door as an historical door that foreshadowed Mary, no.

    Perhaps, however, there is something in the context of one of your quotations that suggests otherwise. I’m basing my assessment on that parts you provided. If you think I’d have a different idea with more context, by all means provide it.

    -TurretinFan

  277. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I obviously can’t keep up with all of you at once. I’ve left dozens of comments in this thread that were not refuted as have other Catholics but you guys zero in on one peripheral statement that was admittedly not couched as intended and bludgeon me to death with it. It does not matter that I am the one who re-framed the statement which left me open to the bludgeoning in the first place.

    There is no grace. No understanding of, “Hey, Sean is having four of five of us going at him at once…let’s cut him just ‘a little’ slack.” No. Just call on dogs.

    All because David T King doesn’t except a work of Augustine which supports the perpetual virginity of Mary even when David T King admits that Augustine taught the perpetual virginity elsewhere.

    Ya’ll win, I guess.

  278. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Why can’t you be gracious Pastor King?

    Sean,

    What would graciousness even look like to you given all that’s transpired? Would this be gracious: “Sean, you really should bow out of this discussion because you haven’t been speaking the truth and although all your mistakes may be unintentional, you’re still bringing reproach upon your name and your household”? Would you receive that, Sean? And why is it that after Romanists get hammered over the arguments they set forth, like when it was pointed out to Mr. Cross that he wanted to deny me the law of non-contradiction(!), the sympathy card is played? My guess is that truth has nothing to do with their goal. Their goal is converts at any cost, even deception.

    Ron

  279. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Mr. Patrick now says: Why can’t you be gracious Pastor King?

    LOL, the man makes an irresponsible accusation, defends the false accusation, and then makes the further accusation of me failing to be gracious? Tell me why it is that you can’t be gracious. Tell me why it is necessary to make an accusation that by one’s own admission one does not know to be true.

  280. johnbugay said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Not pointing fingers here in any way, but I thought this definition may be useful:

    Psychopath: A person with a personality disorder indicated by a pattern of lying, cunning, manipulating, glibness, exploiting, heedlessness, arrogance, delusions of grandeur, sexual promiscuity, low self-control, disregard for morality, lack of acceptance of responsibility, callousness, and lack of empathy and remorse. Such an individual may be especially prone to violent and criminal offenses.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/psychopath

  281. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    peripheral statement

    unbelievable

  282. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Ron. It is not that I am even getting hammered over an argument I made. I am getting ‘hammered’ for making a comment that was not adequately explained the first go-around and subsequently explaining it. This, you see, makes it a ‘lie.’

  283. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Sean,

    I fear that your children will grow up just like you, making excuses and not owning their own behavior. Mark my words.

    Ron

  284. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Ya’ll win, I guess.

    It’s not about winning an argument Mr. Patrick. This is not some game we’re playing. Now, given the way you behave, it may be a game in your mind, but this is no game, and it’s not about us wanting to win. It is about truth, and one handling the truth in a truthful way. It is a gracious act to point out just how irresponsibly you’re behaving. And if you co-religionists really cared for your soul, they would be reining you in from ruining your own reputation.

    Now, I understand that you don’t see it, but it is a gracious act to try to help you see it.

  285. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    DT King.

    I am sorry that I made a statement about your research that I have yet to confirm. My statement, as explained several times now, was not properly framed the first go around. It was not my intention to tell a lie about your work in a forum in which you are actively participating.

  286. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Sean,

    Everyone that comes here from “Call to Communion” avoids the arguments and when proven wrong, moves on to the next wild assertion. You’ve done that throughout all the threads. So, don’t think that any of the treatment you received over this last blunder dropped in on a parachute. You make no amends for your fallacious reasoning that is based upon unsubstantiated premises. It’s a way of life for you to say whatever pops into your mind with no regard for truth and defense.

    Ron

  287. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Sean wrote:

    All because David T King doesn’t except a work of Augustine which supports the perpetual virginity of Mary even when David T King admits that Augustine taught the perpetual virginity elsewhere.

    a) No, it’s not because Pastor King doesn’t accept the work. It’s because the work is not written by Augustine.

    b) You originally cited the work this way:

    Marian typology was not foreign to Augustine. He used a typological reference to support the Ever Virginity of Mary, a doctrine which he taught with explicit firmness.

    It sounds like you’re claiming that he used typology a particular way. When it turned out you were wrong about that – well … see above.

    - TurretinFan

  288. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Mr. Patrick,

    I accept your apology, and thank you for it. I believe it to be genuine, and I forgive it freely, just as God for Christ’s sake has freely forgiven me of all my sins, which are many. I’m content to let this be the end of it, and I strongly encourage my brethren here to let this be the end of it as well. Let’s not throw it in his face again. As for the present, the slate is clean as far as I’m concerned.

    I will, nonetheless, point out any behavior I see in the *future* of this same nature.

    As for my work, if you are of a mind to read it carefully, I do invite you to do so and check out every single citation offered in it. And if you are able to uncover even a single citation where scholarship has positively denied it to be the authentic work of the one I cited, I welcome the correction, because I want to know if I erred.

    However, I will tell you in advance that great care was taken in the production of our work not to make the kind of mistake you have suggested. You have no idea how many works I read and rejected for this very reason. Our work has been out for over nine years now, and if you discover a single mistake of that nature, you will be the first to do so. And if you do discover such an error, and prove it to my satisfaction, I will welcome the correction.

  289. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    DT King.

    Thank you for accepting my apology.

    Ron.

    You do not know me and you do not know my children. I own up to mistakes when I make them and teach my children to do the same.

    You have no right to bring my children into this discussion.

    I would ask you not to speculate about the condition of my children again.

    OK – I am done for the day.

  290. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    We don’t differ in our theology just because we want to reject everything Catholic; we differ because our basis is the Scripture. Considered collectively, our respective theologies point to different expectations of God’s work in past and present history.

    Paige,

    I fear my comment may get lost in all of the current debate, but a few thoughts:

    The Immaculate Conception seems to me to be one of many such debates in the history of the Church. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that is no direct evidence from Scripture to support IC and there is quite a bit of contradictory evidence in the ECF’s on the matter, and there is not even consensus on IC in the Scholastics. But yet the doctrine became certain dogma based in the conviction that the consensus patrum supports IC. And this is just where Protestants shake their heads trying to figure out how the RCC got form little or no consensus to full consensus. It’s not like there was any new data on Mary that was discovered or anything new that was added to the deposit of the faith between the 1st and 19th centuries. All of this to me raises the question as to how we are to interpret the Fathers of the Church. Can we really say that there is such a thing as a collective opinion on matters like IC? The history of the Church is terribly important just as the history of any subject we care to take up. But when the RCC tries to extract a dogmatic system out of the teaching of the Fathers it seems to me to be going much further than the Fathers under consideration would have ever allowed themselves.

  291. johnbugay said,

    December 6, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    trying to figure out how the RCC got from little or no consensus to full consensus.

    Foil linings in the Bishops’ mitres.

  292. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Mr. Riello:

    I’m surprised you thought that your link did a very good job of explaining the Roman approach toward Scripture. It left out (or glossed over) the very crucial aspects of the analogy of faith (in the Roman, not Reformed, sense) and the role of extra-scriptural tradition. (See CCC 112-14)

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm

    - TurretinFan

  293. David H. said,

    December 6, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    David King:

    I owe you an apology as well. I made comments about why I chose not to respond to your posts to Tfan. I should have addressed you directly and not “talked” about you in your presence. Further, by assuming you were doing something (quoting the Fathers) in a way that I disagreed with I went on to impugn all your quotations of the Fathers which, having not read everything you have ever written, or even close to it, was just plain wrong of me. It was knee-jerky… and well just jerky. On top of all of this I used this as a reason to dismiss you.

    I ask for your forgiveness.

    I will certainly try to be more respectful in the future and hope we can have more charitable and therefore more fruitful discussions.

    David

  294. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Richard/GB:

    You wrote:

    Interesting, I suppose the problem I see is allowing that God worked providentially in giving the Church the canon, when was the decision of which books are in made? Jerome and Augustine disagreed on the outer limit of the canon, what was the Church’s official position? I can’t find one, yes I can agree that there are 66 books, but I am not 100% sure we can say there are only 66 books.

    Just wondering how you would respond to this type of argument.

    I don’t speak for Paige, of course, but I would respond to that argument by pointing out that there wasn’t just one decision. Lots of different people and churches have made decisions. Some were more in line with the truth of the matter, some were less in line with the truth of the matter. God’s providence has not ensured that every Christian has had a perfect knowledge of the canon – but that they have had an adequate knowledge of it.

    Being 100% sure about things is nice, but we’re willing to live with reasonable confidence that we have God’s Word. In other words, it is reasonable to be sure that there are 66 books, beyond any reasonable doubt, without denying the existence of unreasonable doubts that people could try to introduce.

    -TurretinFan

  295. louis said,

    December 6, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    “trying to figure out how the RCC got from little or no consensus to full consensus.”

    Because “consensus” for them, like the meaning of scripture, is determined by their interpretation of it. This is why it is called Sola Ecclesia. Words, history, meanings, all boil down to what “The Church” says about it. And, of course, they are infallible. So that’s the end of it.

  296. Tom Riello said,

    December 6, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    TFan,

    Of course, Monsignor Pope could have written more but I do think he does a good job of helping someone who is not familiar with Catholic understanding understand a bit what the Church teaches.

  297. michael said,

    December 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Sean wrote:

    I am here trying to have conversations with 5-6 different people and the second you see a misteep [sic] in something I wrote you jump in and call me a liar.

    Sean, I empathize with you now. I would offer you come comfort according to the Scriptures, albeit, you most likely won’t receive it because of your prior negative position on Sola Scriptura.

    I may not be able to keep my candle brightly lit when it comes to understanding the writings of the ECFs like Pastor King or TurrentinFan, and others who have responded in here, but my candle is lit and bright when it comes to knowing and understanding the Scriptures. That is not a boast, just an acknowledgment of God’s Grace upon me by His Spirit.

    I have come to learn a lot from those two, TurrentinFan and Pastor King, just by reading what they write and comprehending what their message is when they are writing what they write or addressing issues, such as what is happening hereon with you.

    I encourage now to not be dismissive of them or others in here when they take the high ground of His Glory in taking up a position against you. It is commendable that they have so publicly taken a stand for His Glory in the blogsphere world that has become the venue for many and it is a great place to get the Word of Truth out to those who have been blinded by the god of this world so that those blinded do not see the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Who is the True Human representative of the Heavenly Glory!

    I will offer some comforts nevertheless to you, hoping against hope that God will indeed open your heart and mind once again to the Truth. You did leave Protestant Christianity for Catholicism so it seems to me the wall you now are backed up against by these men of God is either, one, Peter’s wall; or two, Judas’ wall?

    Both denied Christ. Both turned away from the Truth. One, Peter, repented and turned back to the Lord in that new way of the “Spirit”. The other, Judas, as we all know, did not but went out and hung himself after the Truth came out.

    Just an aside comment right now. I do not fault Pastor King or TurrentinFan for being so prickly against what is clearly false knowing full well that the god of this world is called by Jesus, the Truth, the father of lies.

    Also, I hasten to tell you, none of us is sinless. None of us can say, like the Holy Spirit said when He vindicated Christ before His Heavenly Glory, that we have been vindicated by God before men as sinless, perfect, workers of Truth in Righteousness.

    The best any one of us can have said of us by God or any angel or fallen man is what God said about Abraham to Isaac, here:

    Gen 26:4 I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,
    Gen 26:5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
    Gen 26:6 So Isaac settled in Gerar.

    Keep in mind, this is Abraham, the Hebrew, the idolater, the sinner, who, once he was aligned with the Holy Spirit, started walking out the new way of Faith that was given to him, “obediently”. He did not according to the Law of Righteousness, but according to the same rule and Righteousness you and I and these men of God in here that you are charging unjustly as acting sinfully towards you in showing you the error of your ways, are called to walk by.

    Consider this verse, keeping in mind verse 5 noted above from Genesis 26:

    Rom 7:6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

    I would encourage you to take a step back and cool your emotions. Some of the things that have been written in here about you, if they were directed towards me would certainly stir up my emotions.

    Know this within yourself that you also have been called out to “walk in obedience to the Faith once delivered to the Saints entering by the Spirit of Grace and Truth into the new way of the Spirit.

    We have been delivered from the works of righteousness. Now we are heirs of the eternal inheritance which is Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the power of the Spirit of Grace and Truth.

    I would ask you what harm will come to you if you repent?

    Remember repentance is a “daily” event in a Christian’s walk, not only when you get caught in a lie or a deception.

    Take the counsel now and consider what I have just written to you, Sean. See that none of these men of God, who must also account for their good works before the same Spirit, are doing anything unjustly towards you.

    Know certainly that the god of this world is the liar who brings about a lie as though it is the truth when in fact, once examined for what it is, it is exposed as a lie!

    This is critical for you now. You must come to your senses and realize that the devil seeks to destroy you and undermine the Faith given to you and he will not relent until he is destroyed! Make no mistake about it, Sean, the Devil is going to be destroyed and all of his lies will be destroyed with him.

    Until that happens, be encouraged rather by these men of God who are taking care to show you the Truth and your errors.

    And just one final thing, take to heart what Ron just wrote above that I will repost and reiterate for you:

    Tell me Sean, is Bryan Cross patting you on the back and saying good job, keep up the good work? If he is, then you really need to find some new friends. If he’s saying nothing, then you still need to find some new friends – some that will tell you when to keep silent.

    It is okay to be wrong or deceived from time to time. If a man says he is without sin, he is a liar. It is not okay to stay wrong and deceived.

    That understanding is best understood when you ponder and come to understand what I first posted above about what God said to Isaac about Abraham, the Hebrew, the idolater, the sinner!

    How is it that Abraham came to obey the voice of God and God could so vindicate him as one who lived by Faith and walked the way he walked before God, well before Moses was given the Ten Commandments so that by the Law of Righteousness we all could be proved guilty sinners before God?

    It was by that new way of the Spirit! The Gospel was preached and known well before the Law of Righteousness was given.

    Now, today, you have had placed before you Truth and error!

    Which way will you now walk? Will you walk the new way of the Spirit? Or will you continue in the way of errors and lies brought about by the father of lies?

  298. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Mr. H: I accept your apology for the error of your assumption and your expressions to that effect, and I forgive it freely, even as God for Christ’s sake has freely forgiven me for all my sins, which are many. With that, though, I do not regard your not speaking to me directly in my presence an offense, and I never received offense for that. It may be an offense in your eyes, but it is not an offense to my perception.

    Think no more on that offense, or any other perceived offense. I do appreciate the expressed desire to attempt to be more respectful and charitable. However, to what degree you are able to fulfill that must remain between your conscience and the true and living God of biblical revelation. I am not the judge of your conscience, nor will I have any man to lord their conscience over me. Ultimately, I see these issues as being bound up in the biblical revelation of the Gospel.

    As I indicated earlier, this is not a “game” for me. We cannot gloss over genuine differences, and I expect my responses, where these are concerned, to be direct and to the point. I still think that Roman apologists have a tendency to live in a “never-never land” of double standards and that their skepticism works in only one direction, and I will continue to point such expressions out when they are articulated and/or expressed.

    With that said, your willingness to extend an apology speaks well of you in this matter specifically. But I don’t expect we’re going to be close friends any time soon, if at all. I do expect that any evidence I offer in my arguments to be carefully weighed, as anyone who is serious about truth ought to do. My some 15 plus years of dealing with Roman apologists does not leave me with a positive perception for them, particularly where “truth” claims are concerned. I make no bones about the fact that I am not an ecumenist when it comes to negotiating the Gospel as it is defined by biblical revelation. This means we won’t be holding hands and singing “kumbaya.” :)

  299. michael said,

    December 6, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Not that I have disrespected Pastor King in anyway above by “continuing” to address the issues he and others have raised with Sean, but, let me explain that I was in the process of writing to Sean what I did above and did not read Pastor King’s admonition that we leave off that matter regarding Sean and them.

    To reiterate what Pastor King admonished above, I, too, gladly accept it and won’t bring it up again, unless, perchance, error emerges again and then, well, there are plenty in here who will be all over it like white is all over white rice.

    Here’s Pastor King’s admonition I defer too:

    I’m content to let this be the end of it, and I strongly encourage my brethren here to let this be the end of it as well. Let’s not throw it in his face again. As for the present, the slate is clean as far as I’m concerned.

  300. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    You do not know me and you do not know my children. I own up to mistakes when I make them and teach my children to do the same.

    You have no right to bring my children into this discussion.

    I would ask you not to speculate about the condition of my children again.

    Sean, I don’t even know whether you have children. So, I see this just as another manipulative tactic of yours, but if I struck a chord then I’m actually glad. I’d rather offend you than for you to reap yourself in your seed. If you have offspring and you see this tendency of yours in them, then good. Let it help you to change. If these tendencies haven’t taken root in them, then even better, but still change. My “speculation” as it were was a biblical principle regarding what you can very well expect in life. You have demonstrated that you ignore when you are wrong and that you prefer to move on without addressing your errors. I know that about you. I also know through God’s word that it is often the case that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. When I put those premises together it spits out that if you do not change your ways, you very well might reap your own behavior in your offspring. If you didn’t have offspring you wouldn’t have been so touchy, so I suspect you do. If you do, I hope they’re young for you seem to have time on your side.

    Ron

  301. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Ron.

    It sounds like you have it all figured out. It sounds like you are able to judge the state of my soul and the future character of my children.

    Maybe we can talk face to face about all this some day?

  302. Sean said,

    December 6, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I should probobly clarify – what I mean to say and again highlight, is that this method of conversation does not easily lend itself to genuine dialog. It is unfortunate that Ron can say that I am a man who does not own up to anything – especially after I already apologized and gave evidence of my ability to own to things (# 285). It is unfortunate that Ron can bring my children into this after I asked him not to bring by children into it. I doubt he would be saying either if we were meeting face to face. Not because I am scary but because if Ron knew me than he would know that I am not the boogey man and I am a good father and I strive to be honest in everything.

    And, yeah, I do think that it is easier for some people to pretty much be a jerk on the internet. It is kind of like road rage. Nice people end up turning into crazed lunatics. I hope I am never ‘that guy.’

    Seriously, done for the day.

  303. Richard said,

    December 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    TurretinFan,

    Thank you for your response and I agree with much of what you say. What then would you say to me if I were to suggest that Tobit ought be in our canon and appealed to the Council of Carthage and Hippo?

  304. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Richard:

    I would respectfully disagree with Carthage and Hippo and explain my reasons for disagreeing. With Jerome, I think that the authority of the Jews as to the Jewish portion of the canon is more persuasive – and as I recently argued in a debate on the canon with Mr. William Albrecht (link to debate), there are internal problems with Tobit that suggest God is not its author.

    - TurretinFan

  305. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    It sounds like you have it all figured out. It sounds like you are able to judge the state of my soul and the future character of my children.

    Well Sean, you’re back to your old self already. I neither judged your soul nor judged the future character of your children. I told you that you ignore what is before you (like you just did now) and that I “feared” that your children would acquire that trait. I, also, held out hope in repentance, not penance. :)

    Maybe we can talk face to face about all this some day?

    Sean, I’ve met with several people from cyber land and it’s always proved profitable. You might even be astonished. I have no idea what might come of it if we met, but I’d be willing to do so.

    Ron

  306. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Mr. Riello,

    Thanks for the clarification. I suppose I thought you were trying to point out the distinctively Roman approach toward Scripture, as opposed to the points at which the Roman approach would be similar to the Reformed approach. But perhaps you simply meant to illustrate that the distinctive points are not the only points.

    - TurretinFan

  307. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    And, yeah, I do think that it is easier for some people to pretty much be a jerk on the internet. It is kind of like road rage. Nice people end up turning into crazed lunatics. I hope I am never ‘that guy.’

    Sean, at best you aare that guy and you’re better in person. If what I’m seeing here is actually how you are in person, like you just suggested, then I’m really doubtful that anything could come from our getting together.

  308. michael said,

    December 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Pro 1:23 If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.

    Pro 16:20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

  309. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Mr. Patrick,

    Earlier you said: OK – I am done for the day.

    You might want to take your own advice and give it a rest for awhile. No malice or ulterior motive at work on my part.

  310. michael said,

    December 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Oh, and Paige, in honor of your theme, this thread and Robinson Crusoe, I thought of this verse because of this sentence of yours, which, for me, in my humble opinion, theologically speaking, Biblically correcting and posting here, now:

    your sentence:
    There is a scene in Robinson Crusoe that is as nifty a parable about Providence and our expectations of it as anybody could write.

    The verse:
    .” Psa 65:9 You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it.

    But for God and His Way, there would be no grain to grow in his patch on that deserted island! :)

  311. Tom Riello said,

    December 6, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    If anyone is interested one of the contributors on Called to Communion, Dr. David Anders will be EWTN Journey Home tonight at 8 est, 7 central. Dr. Anders is a former Presbyterian who came into the Church. If you watch the show, please post a comment over at Called to Communion and let us know what you think. While we do disagree on the issues and as Pastor King rightly says that this is not a game, it is important that we engage each other in a spirit of charity and desire to seek the truth in love.

  312. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Tom,

    If you believe that a former Presbyterian left his communion and came into “the Church” then your willingness to “engage” in an effort “to seek the truth” is under false pretense – unless of course you’re open to the idea that Romanism is not “the Church”. You, like your mentor Cross, have an obvious agenda and it’s disgusting the way in which you try to peddle it in the name of love. Your so called “Call to Communion” is a nothing less than a call to Romanism, so let’s not pretend you’re interested in pursuing the truth with us because in your estimation, you have arrived.

  313. johnbugay said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    ::Bites tongue, in deference to Turretinfan, before publicly saying something sarcastic::

  314. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    John, maybe you should just thank the man for his warm and sincere invitation.

    What amazes me about these guys is how desperate they are for any Protestant attention. They hang around after being shown time and time again that they’re engaged in fables and idolatry. They certainly have a sweet taste for foolishness.

    Best,

    Ron

  315. johnbugay said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Ron, I am just awe-struck.

  316. michael said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    John,

    why bite your tongue in deference to TurretinFan? From my experience with him, he’s a big big boy and he can cut tongues out of those using their fingers to type things that are an error!

    Save your tongue John! You will need it to enjoy the next meal:::>

    Ecc 3:12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;
    Ecc 3:13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil–this is God’s gift to man.

  317. steve hays said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Tom Riello said,

    “If anyone is interested one of the contributors on Called to Communion, Dr. David Anders will be EWTN Journey Home tonight at 8 est, 7 central. Dr. Anders is a former Presbyterian who came into the Church. If you watch the show, please post a comment over at Called to Communion and let us know what you think.”

    Tom, does your invitation mean Called to Communion will suspend its comment moderation and have an open comments policy for those who watch and wish to post a comment there?

  318. John Bugay said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Michael, I just know T-Fan to say things that are far smarter and more appropriate than I could ever say in these situations.

  319. David H said,

    December 6, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Rev. King:

    I understand where you are coming from. I certainly agree it is not a game.

    “I do expect that any evidence I offer in my arguments to be carefully weighed, as anyone who is serious about truth ought to do.”

    I expect the same thing of you. If we are in agreement that is good. But presuppostions are stubborn things and we both have them. So we both have to weigh them as well when we consider each others evidence.

    For the record I wouldn’t sing kumbaya with the anyone.

    “But I don’t expect we’re going to be close friends any time soon, if at all.”

    To bad. I was going to buy the first round. ;-)

  320. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    …it is important that we engage each other in a spirit of charity and desire to seek the truth in love.

    I have a question Mr. Riello, how does engaging us with a caricature, refusing to repent of it when corrected, translate into a “a spirit of charity and desire to seek the truth in love?”

  321. paigebritton said,

    December 6, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Hey, Andrew,
    Thanks for trying…never mind. ;)
    pb

  322. paigebritton said,

    December 6, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Hi, Richard,
    I do defer to TF’s wisdom there (#294 & #304)…I know your issue is with the Apocrypha, and if I recall correctly, for you it’s more a question of seeing no reason why these books shouldn’t be counted as canonical than it is of accepting them because of the Magisterial say-so, right? You’ve probably read a lot on the topic, but if you haven’t looked at Whitaker’s Disputations on Scripture yet, you might consider the reasons he gives for rejecting them. For my part, I note that Jesus refers clearly to the limited canon of the Tanakh, and the apostles speak of “the Scriptures,” meaning the Hebrew canon. Jerome’s observations of the Jewish understanding of canon also bear weight (Whitaker gets into all this).
    Blessings!!
    Paige B.

  323. paigebritton said,

    December 6, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    michael,
    I will hire you for court jester, because you speak wisdom and do handsprings with words.
    pax,
    Paige B.

  324. paigebritton said,

    December 6, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Guys, I am not telling you what to do, but I am totally sick of the current back and forth. Would y’all consider dropping it finally? I think the point has been made.

  325. Ron said,

    December 6, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    “I have a question Mr. Riello, how does engaging us with a caricature, refusing to repent of it when corrected, translate into a “a spirit of charity and desire to seek the truth in love?”

    And has he stopped beating his wife yet? :)

    Seriously, in this case the loaded question is most fitting. Don’t expect an answer though!

    Ron

  326. Tom Riello said,

    December 6, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Pastor King,

    I am in complete agreement with you, as are my colleagues at Called to Communion, that we should never engage caricatures. That is one of the things that makes me most grateful to be a part of the Called to Communion, is the refusal to paint Reformed thinking and theology as garden variety evangelicalism. Everyone at Called to Communion has a healthy respect and profound appreciation for the Reformed world from which they came.

  327. TurretinFan said,

    December 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Mr. Riello,

    I got a very different impression from some of the articles I’ve read at Called to Communion – articles like the article claiming that there is no principled difference between Sola and Solo Scriptura. But at least we agree in principle.

    - TurretinFan

  328. steve hays said,

    December 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Tom,

    Why are you apparently dodging my question about the comments policy at CTC? Was your invitation sincere or insincere?

  329. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 6, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Thanks for trying…never mind. ;)

    Hi Paige,
    I have an idea – Start a new thread about the IC, but make a ground rule that anyone who posts must say something nice and complimentary about whoever the post is directed to before writing anything critical. That should eliminate about 95% of the comments….

  330. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Mr. Riello said: I am in complete agreement with you, as are my colleagues at Called to Communion, that we should never engage caricatures.

    This is all fine and good, but I couldn’t help but notice that you haven’t repudiated your caricature of us. Remember that caricature about us denying the divine origin of of the church?

  331. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    With respect to the question of the book of Tobit, there are good internal reasons within the book itself for rejecting it from the canon. In 12:12 (though in context there is more detail) God is represented as a transcendental deity who hears prayers through angelic mediation. Also the suggestion in the book in 12:9 that “Almsgiving delivers from death and it will purge away every sin.”

    Theodoret informs us that the Council of Laodicea prohibited the invocation of angels. Theodoret believed this to be based upon the biblical norm set forth in the book of Colossians…

    Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466) commenting on Col. 2:18: Those who supported the Law encouraged them to worship the angels, claiming in this to respect the Law; this affliction persisted in Phrygia and Pisidia for a long time. Hence a synod that assembled in Laodicea in Phrygia forbade by law praying to the angels; to this very day you can see chapels to Saint Michael among them and their neighbors. Those people, then, were giving that advice—namely, those addicted to self-abasement and claiming that the God of all is beyond sight, reach and comprehension, and that divine benevolence must be secured through the angels (his meaning in self-abasement and angel worship). Robert Charles Hill, Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Vol. 2 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2001), p. 95.

    Theodoret of Cyrrhus (393-466) commenting on Col. 3:17: Since those people, remember, ordered the worship of angels, he urges the opposite, that they adorn both their words and their deeds with the memory of Christ the Lord. Offer thanks to the God and Father through him, he is saying, not through the angels. Following this law and wishing to cure that ancient malady, the synod in Laodicea legislated against praying to angels and passing over our Lord Jesus Christ. Robert Charles Hill, Theodoret of Cyrus: Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Vol. 2 (Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2001), p. 99.

    Of course, the Romanist Hefele in his monumental work on the Church Councils, attempts to explain away the Council of Laodicea, suggesting specifically that it was the worship of angels being addressed. But the Council of Laodeica uses the Greek verb (οὐνομάζω) which means to invoke.

    Here are two translations of this canon of the Council with the Greek…

    Council of Laodicea (363-364 A.D.): Christians must not forsake the Church of God, and go away and invoke angels and gather assemblies, which things are forbidden. If, therefore, any one shall be found engaged in this covert idolatry, let him be anathema; for he has forsaken our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and has gone over to idolatry. NPNF2: Vol. XIV, The Canons of the Councils of Laodicea, Canon 35.

    Council of Laodicea (363-364 A.D.): Christians ought not to forsake the Church of God, and depart aside, and invocate (οὐνομάζω) angels, and make meetings, which are things forbidden. If any man therefore be found to give himself to this privy idolatry, let him be accursed, because he hath forsaken our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and betaken himself to idolatry. For translation, see James Ussher, An Answer to a Challenge Made by a Jesuit (Cambridge: J. & J. J. Deighton, 1835), p. 406.
    Greek text: Ὅτι οὐ δεῖ Χριστιανοὺς ἐγκαταλείπειν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ ἀπιέναι, καὶ ἀγγέλους ὀνομάζειν, καὶ συνάξεις ποιεῖν, ἅπερ ἀπηγόρευται. Εἴ τις οὖν εὐρεθῇ ταύτῃ κεκρυμμένῃ εἰδωλολατρείᾳ σχολάζων, ἔστω ἀνάθεμα, ὅτι ἐγκατέλιπε τὸν Κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ εἰδωλολατρείᾳ προσῆλθεν. Synodus Laodiciae, Canon XXXV.

    Romanism approves of that which the Council of Laodecia forbade.

  332. D. T. King said,

    December 6, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Dear Paige, I have another post caught in the spam filter. I would be grateful if you could help by releasing it.

    Thanks,
    DTK

  333. AJ said,

    December 7, 2010 at 12:45 am

    TF said, “The quest for 100% certainty about things is not realistic…. What we have with respect to the Scriptures is CONFIDENT ASSURANCE.”

    Then, all of these discussions really fall on “confident assurance” principle that our faith which is a Divine Revelation and the infallible Revealed word of God is at the end arrived at by “confident assurance” or “high probability” . If Sola Scriptura is not meant to be an inerrant claim, then why should I take a doctrinal novelty that may actually be false and make it the foundation of my faith? If I can’t ever know with certainty that Luther’s novel doctrine of sola scriptura is true, then why should I accept it in the first place?

    This principle goes against the very Scripture: “He that HEARS YOU HEARS ME; and he that rejects you rejects Me; and he that rejects Me rejects Him that sent Me.” (Luke 10:16). It sounds to me a very strong delegation of a Living Authority – some more (2 Tim 1:13;Mt 11:15; 2 Thess 2:15; 2 Thess 3:6b; 1 Cor 11:2b; John 15:26, 16:12)

    Manning’s words ring true here, ‘we are saved by truth; and truth which is not definite is no truth to us; and indefinite statements have no certainty; and without certainty there is no faith.’
    Without appealing to an outside source of authority (Tradition/Living Voice of God) and thus violating the principle of Sola Scriptura. Since no instruction are found in the scripture itself on how to identify which books are inspired and gives no definitive standard for obtaining the canon (list of books) thus the very assertion of protestants that books written by mere men (Scriptures) bears a characteristic of God which only those who have a relationship with Him can recognize violates the very nature of Sola Scriptura which teaches that we don’t need to look elsewhere beyond the pages of Scripture to determine this very information. (WCF included)

  334. Roger du Barry said,

    December 7, 2010 at 1:14 am

    ” If I can’t ever know with certainty that Luther’s novel doctrine of sola scriptura is true, then why should I accept it in the first place?”

    A classic example of spinning a question. As far as I am aware the actual Reformation doctrine, resurrected after centuries of Papal ignorance, is the SUPREMACY of scripture. The Reformation did not say that scripture is the ONLY authority, but that it is the SUPREME authority. Human authority is never summarily rejected in the Confessions, but embraced and honoured, subject to its proper submission to scripture.

    This is of course the ancient doctrine of the catholic church of the Fathers, which was supplanted by Roman Papal usurpers in the Middle Ages. They in turn got it straight from the Bible.

  335. Roger du Barry said,

    December 7, 2010 at 1:15 am

    The Fathers in turn got it straight from the Bible.

  336. Roger du Barry said,

    December 7, 2010 at 1:16 am

    This is one of the reasons that the Reformed Churches are the Catholic Church, and not the Roman sect.

  337. BSuden said,

    December 7, 2010 at 1:42 am

    Everyone at Called to Communion has a healthy respect and profound appreciation for the Reformed world from which they came.

    325 Mr. Riello,

    Man, talk about alternative universes. The question then is, why do they seem to have such a profound ignorance of it?
    Bryan is flummoxed by the Mormons at his door as a “protestant” in his little Ecclesial Deism post and demonstrates absolutely no idea that the canon was closed and Christ was the last prophet. From there it goes downhill,
    Tu Quoque/docetism etc.

    If CtC is that serious, along with comments about opening up the CtC combox, how about sending over a few free copies of Taylor Marshall’s latest – he was last seen over here shamelessly plugging it – now that he’s hawking copies to reformed seminarians for free. That is, if anybody is really interested in a reformed review. Why I’d even reimburse postage.

    334 RdB

    Great one liner.

  338. paigebritton said,

    December 7, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Sorry for the delay, DTK! #330 is your rescued “spam.” :)
    pb

  339. paigebritton said,

    December 7, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Andrew #328 –
    LOL. Not anytime soon.

  340. paigebritton said,

    December 7, 2010 at 6:58 am

    AJ -
    Then, all of these discussions really fall on “confident assurance” principle that our faith which is a Divine Revelation and the infallible Revealed word of God is at the end arrived at by “confident assurance” or “high probability” . If Sola Scriptura is not meant to be an inerrant claim, then why should I take a doctrinal novelty that may actually be false and make it the foundation of my faith? If I can’t ever know with certainty that Luther’s novel doctrine of sola scriptura is true, then why should I accept it in the first place?

    It really depends on what universe you think you are living in.

    Is it the one without the infallible magisterium? Then you go with what you are given: a closed canon recognized at the end of the apostolic age as “Scripture,” identified back then as having the affirmation of Jesus (the Tanakh) and the apostles (the NT). No, this list is not a matter of direct revelation: but it would be foolish to reject it (in this particular universe) on those grounds. NOTHING is “100% certain” for us in this universe: ever hear of “walking by faith”?

    Or, on the other hand, do you think you are living in the universe that has a divinely appointed representative who can give further communications direct from God (when it seems necessary)? Congratulations! But are you 100% sure about that ? Or just “confidently assured” of its “high probability”? Hmmmm…

    Seems we cannot escape the human condition, no matter how much we would like to “walk by sight and not by faith.”

  341. D. T. King said,

    December 7, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Thank you Miss Paige!

  342. D. T. King said,

    December 7, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Mr. AJ said: Therefore, all of these discussions really fall on “confident assurance” principle that our faith which is a Divine Revelation and infallible Revealed word of God is at the end arrived at by “confident assurance” or “high probability” .

    And you think the word of men trumps the word of God? Now, in the light of Acts 5:29, we are very content to rest the weight of our never-dying souls upon the God Who has disclosed himself in Holy Scripture.

    If Sola Scriptura is not meant to be an inerrant claim, then why should I take a doctrinal novelty that may actually be false and make it the foundation of my faith?

    Ah, yes, the land of “if” . . . the retreat of the skeptic. Why not try disproving it rather than assuming it if you expect any serious interaction. Moreover, we don’t make a doctrinal novelty the foundation of faith. It is clear that you neither understand the principle of sola Scriptura nor what should constitute one’s foundation of faith. The foundation of faith is based on the revelation of God, and we know He has revealed Himself in Holy Scripture. We don’t know that He’s revealed Himself in oral, extrabiblical revelation which Romanists cannot even identify let alone obey themselves. Perhaps you ought to tell us how you manage to obey something you have yet to demonstrate is purely oral in nature and which can be traced back to the apostolic deposit. We’re not impressed with a “name it/claim it” approach which asserts that Holy Scripture is a doctrinal novelty.

    If I can’t ever know with certainty that Luther’s novel doctrine of sola scriptura is true, then why should I accept it in the first place?

    Who care what you think constitutes certainty? Moreover, our faith does not We don’t rest in Luther. And you beg the question concerning the novelty of the principle of sola Scriptura. You see, we’re not impressed with this kind of simple-simon Roman apologetic.

    This approach is #8 on my all-time list of the ten most popular but worse techniques of the Roman apologist…

    Attack Martin Luther technique – This can be used as a companion apologetic to the Attack Sola Scriptura technique. Always insist that your opponent is a Protestant who believes that Biblical Christianity began with the “Reformation.” Insist the opponent is a follower of Martin Luther. Do not accept any denials of this. Rubberstamp him as a follower of Martin Luther if they refute this accusation.

    I’d spit that garbage out too if it was giving me indigestion.

    This principle goes against the very Scripture TF espouses. In Luke 10:16, Jesus said to His Apostles, “He that HEARS YOU HEARS ME; and he that rejects you rejects Me; and he that rejects Me rejects Him that sent Me.” .

    Yes, we listen to the Apostles, which was TF’s point, and the last time we checked they have all been removed from this present life. I have no idea what you think this proves, but you’re welcome to make your rant.

    The early church father Jerome warned against post-apostolic claims to absolute authority…

    Jerome (347-420): ‘In his record of the peoples the Lord shall tell’: in the sacred writings, in His Scripture that is read to all peoples in order that all may know. Thus the apostles have written; thus the Lord Himself has spoken, not merely for a few, but that all might know and understand. Plato wrote books, but he did not write for all people but only for a few, for there are not many more than two or three men who know him. But the princes of the Church and the princes of Christ did not write only for the few, but for everyone without exception. ‘And princes’: the apostles and evangelists. ‘Of those who have been born in her.’ Note ‘who have been’ and not ‘who are.’ That is to make sure that, with the exception of the apostles, whatever else is said afterwards should be removed and not, later on, hold the force of authority. No matter how holy anyone may be after the time of the apostles, no matter how eloquent, he does not have authority, for ‘in his record of the peoples and princes the Lord shall tell of those who have been born in her.’ FC, Vol. 48, The Homilies of St. Jerome: Vol. 1, On the Psalms, Homily 18 (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1964), pp. 142-143.

    Notice how Jerome distinguishes between “those who have been born in her” (i.e., “her” the Church) as apposed to those “who are.” Jerome is drawing the distinction between the apostles and evangelists (i.e., the Gospel writers) and the present day leaders of the church in his time. And he says that the leaders of his day do not bear (hold the force of) the absolute authority of the apostles. In fact, he warns us, “No matter how holy anyone may be after the time of the apostles, no matter how eloquent, he does not have authority.” That means that the present day leaders of the church, least of all the Roman magisterium which I do not even regard as a true church, do not hold the force of apostolic authority. The authority of the present day leaders of Christ’s church is derivative and ministerial. In other words, in contrast to Romanism, the authority is not the same.

    It sounds to me a very strong delegation of a Living Authority – some more (2 Tim 1:13;Mt 11:15; 2 Thess 2:15; 2 Thess 3:6b; 1 Cor 11:2b; John 15:26, 16:12)

    Living authority does not equal infallible authority. Let’s see, “it sounds to me” that your own expression of private judgment is something you are commending to us. No thanks. But I do note the way you want to assume the perspicuity of those texts, and commend them to us based upon your own private interpretation.

    Manning’s words ring true here, “we are saved by truth; and truth which is not definite is no truth to us; and indefinite statements have no certainty; and without certainty there is no faith.”

    Ring true? Yes, well, truth rests on its own foundation, and not in the words of some nebulous claim to truth, or what some man by the name of Manning thought.

    Without appealing to an outside source of authority (Tradition/Living Voice of God) and thus violating the principle of Sola Scriptura.

    This pure Gnosticism, and was identified clearly by Irenaeus…

    Irenaeus (c. 130-c. 200) speaking of the Gnostics: When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but viva voce: ANF: Vol. I, Against Heresies, Book 3:2:1.

    There’s Rome’s motto for you, “viva voce,” whatever we say! Don’t make an argument, when in Rome all you have to do is “name it/claim it” and that makes it so.

    Since no instruction are found in the scripture itself on how to identify which books are inspired and gives no definitive standard for obtaining the canon (list of books) thus the very assertion of protestants that books written by mere men (Scriptures) bears a characteristic of God which only those who have a relationship with Him can recognize violates the very nature of Sola Scriptura which teaches that we don’t need to look elsewhere beyond the pages of Scripture to determine this very information. (WCF included).

    Thanks for sharing. We don’t need instructions about how to listen to God. The very definition of revelation is that God makes Himself known. Now, I understand that this is concept that escapes your thought, but Jesus informs us in John 10:27 that His sheep hear His voice, that he knows them, and that they follow Him. Moreover, He informs us earlier in the same passage…

    John 10:4-5
    4 “And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
    5 “Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

    The short of it is this, Christ bring forth His own sheep, and we know the voice of Christ (v. 4) in Holy Scripture, but we don’t follow strangers like yourself, because we don’t know your voice. But we do know you to be a stranger, who would have us listen to himself, and we will have none of it.

    You see, what really exposes your Romanism for what it is – is this open and shameless reliance on skepticism to further its agenda. I want for you to consider how insidiously wicked your post is.. It’s the age-old tactic with which the enemy of the souls of men engaged Eve in the garden of Eden, “Has God indeed said?” Sir, when an allegedly ‘Christian’ apologist’s preferred tool finds its allegiance with what amounts to the essential equivalent of the tempter’s question “Has God indeed said?” (Gen. 3:1), it is reflective of a mindset willing to follow a pattern of argumentation owned by the enemy of the souls of men. It was none other than the method of the devil himself in an attempt to subvert the word of the true and living God, thus inciting other creatures to rebel against their Creator, by questioning the certainty of His explicit command. It manifests a willingness to submit the veracity of the Creator’s word to the mere fallibility of creature confidence, thus suspending the declaration of ultimate authority until acknowledged by human opinion. God’s word needs no sanction by his creatures, least of all the voice of a creature who exposes himself to be a stranger to God by seeking to undermine biblical revelation and authority, all for the sake of mother Rome. Nothing that treats God’s word, in the manner in which you have, can possibly be of God.

  343. steve hays said,

    December 7, 2010 at 8:28 am

    AJ said,

    “Then, all of these discussions really fall on ‘confident assurance’ principle that our faith which is a Divine Revelation and the infallible Revealed word of God is at the end arrived at by ‘confident assurance’ or ‘high probability’ . If Sola Scriptura is not meant to be an inerrant claim, then why should I take a doctrinal novelty that may actually be false and make it the foundation of my faith? If I can’t ever know with certainty that Luther’s novel doctrine of sola scriptura is true, then why should I accept it in the first place?”

    Sounds like the sort of question that Lucifer first asked himself. “God, I refuse to follow you unless you submit to my stipulations and specifications. You have to do it my way, God. Otherwise, I will turn my back on you and be your sworn enemy!”

    I do thank AJ for revealing the cloven foot inside the glass slipper of Roman Catholicism.

    By contrast, the faithful live in the assurance of what God promised, and not the the false assurance of what he hasn’t.

  344. Ron said,

    December 7, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Gentlemen,

    Let’s not imply that we cannot have certainty that we received the canon unless we also want to imply that we cannot be certain that God fulfilled his promise to build his church upon the Word.

    Ron

  345. Ron said,

    December 7, 2010 at 10:21 am

    By contrast, the faithful live in the assurance of what God promised, and not the the false assurance of what he hasn’t.

    Amen, Steve.

  346. Ron said,

    December 7, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Elaboration regarding the early NT church:

    100% certainty comes with knowledge. Throughout my polemic I’ve noted that the God would build his NT church upon the foundation of the word of God. In the early church that foundation had not yet been fully laid. The foundation was a work in progress – indeed it had to have been because the canon was still being written and being received. Accordingly, their knowledge was that the foundation would be laid in its entirety, not that had already been laid in its entirety. We can quibble over when the foundation had finally been laid, but it would be absurd to think that the foundation took as long as some Romanists would like to suggest. The edifice of the church was already standing. It’s now a matter of long standing history and, therefore, necessary.

  347. David Weiner said,

    December 7, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Ron, re: #343

    Your comment on ‘certainty’ raised some questions for me. Sorry, if it is all just semantics.

    I assume you would agree that ‘Seeing’ != faith?

    Would you agree that ‘certainty’ = ‘perfect faith’ or ’100% faith’?

    I believe that perfect faith is a non-existent concept? At least I am ‘certain’ that I don’t have it. ;-)

    So, is it true that the spiritual gift of faith that the Holy Spirit gives to one believer and that which He gives to another, are not at all constrained to be identical?

    Thus, if two saved individuals both give their assent to ‘God will build His church . . .,’ can they both ‘mean’ the same thing? Because if we are still together, we know that neither of them can be certainty in the sense of ‘perfect faith.’

  348. Ron said,

    December 7, 2010 at 11:53 am

    David,

    I don’t know what you mean by “seeing = faith”. Some people see and don’t have faith and others have faith in things not seen. Not trying to be difficult…

    Best,

    Ron

  349. steve hays said,

    December 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    “Certainty” is not a univocal concept. There are different kinds of certainty. So before we defend or oppose the possibility of certainty, it’s necessary to do some preliminary sorting. It’s important that we confine ourselves to the type(s) of assurance which God has promised, rather than setting the bar at some artificial level.

    Take some examples from the entry on “certainty” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

    *************************************

    There are various kinds of certainty. A belief is psychologically certain when the subject who has it is supremely convinced of its truth. Certainty in this sense is similar to incorrigibility, which is the property a belief has of being such that the subject is incapable of giving it up. But psychological certainty is not the same thing as incorrigibility. A belief can be certain in this sense without being incorrigible; this may happen, for example, when the subject receives a very compelling bit of counterevidence to the (previously) certain belief and gives it up for that reason. Moreover, a belief can be incorrigible without being psychologically certain. For example, a mother may be incapable of giving up the belief that her son did not commit a gruesome murder, and yet, compatible with that inextinguishable belief, she may be tortured by doubt.

    A second kind of certainty is epistemic. Roughly characterized, a belief is certain in this sense when it has the highest possible epistemic status. Epistemic certainty is often accompanied by psychological certainty, but it need not be. It is possible that a subject may have a belief that enjoys the highest possible epistemic status and yet be unaware that it does. (More generally, a subject’s being certain that p does not entail that she is certain that she is certain that p; on this point, see Van Cleve 1979, and see Alston 1980 on level confusions in epistemology.) In such a case, the subject may feel less than the full confidence that her epistemic position warrants. I will say more below about the analysis of epistemic certainty and its relation to psychological certainty.

    Some philosophers also make use of the notion of moral certainty…Thus characterized, moral certainty appears to be epistemic in nature, though it is a lesser status than epistemic certainty.

    There have been many different conceptions of certainty. Each of them captures some central part of our intuitive understanding of certainty, but, as we shall see, none of them is free from problems. Certainty is often explicated in terms of indubitability.

    According to a second conception, a subject’s belief is certain just in case it could not have been mistaken—i.e., false (see, e.g., Lewis 1929). Alternatively, the subject’s belief is certain when it is guaranteed to be true.

  350. David Weiner said,

    December 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Ron,

    No problem at all. I had enclosed the word seeing in quotes; but, obviously that didn’t help. What I meant was that if I touch a hot pot and my hand starts to blister and I have all sorts of pain then I have seen that the pot is hot. Nothing we would call faith is involved.

    If on the other hand, somebody tells me the pot is hot, then I am left to take it on faith that it is hot. Of course, I can do some experiments to try to determine if the pot is hot; but, then I am back into the realm of ‘seeing.’

    The next problem I created was in thinking that the symbol ” != ” would be understood as ‘not equal too.’ Sorry.

  351. Ron said,

    December 7, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Actually, faith is involved when you believe the pot is hot. Again, not trying to be difficult. I disagree with the notion that faith takes over after knowledge is exhausted. I would say knowledge presupposes faith. In any case, regarding certainty, I’m speaking of epistemic certainty, which as Steve noted is the highest degree of certainty, and that it need not be accompanied by psychological certainty: “I believe – but help me my unbelief.”

    The point is, we can know we have the canon and that knowledge can be deduced from God’s promises, his character and his sovereignty over the affairs of me. With said knowledge, we may have certainty though we may have doubts.

  352. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 7, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Hi David W,

    Not to hijack, but the notion of certainty was significantly upended by Descartes and Hume back in the day. Descartes, for example, might ask, “How do you know that God didn’t just make your hand burst out in pain at the moment you touched a cold pot?” And Hume might ask, “How do you know that some other physical cause made your hand hurt instead of the temperature of the pot? Or even, that anything causes anything?”

    Both of these men, as you can see, tortured the rest of us with their skepticism. :)

    With some time and distance, we have been able to separate mathematical certainty, which corresponds to deductive reasoning, from high probability, which corresponds to inductive reasoning.

    The response to Hume is, “There is an outside chance that some other cause hurt my hand; but here — give me your hand and let’s test it!” In other words, science responds to Hume with reproducibility.

    (The response to Descartes is, God doesn’t do such things)

    With regard to Scripture, the argument to certainty is akin to the reproducibility argument:

    * The people of God, almost universally, have accepted the 66 books as canonical, so they have a high degree of probability of being so.
    * The people of God have debated the status of the Apocrypha, so they have a relatively low probability of being so.
    * The Gospel of Thomas … well, it’s right out.

  353. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    in #339 concerning the canon, Paige says: No, this list is not a matter of direct revelation:

    Paige, I agree in that there is no given list in Scripture which is what the Catholics want us to give them. Or really I should say because we cannot come up with a table of contents for the Bible in the Bible then we are duty bound to come to Rome if we care about having a theologically consistent position. But I think we need to qualify your statement by saying that the principle of the canon in bound up in the very nature of revelation which has been given directly to us (which is what David King basically said). The Catholics will affirm that God’s inspiration of the books assures their perfection, but they will not allow any necessary connection between inspiration and canonization. They drive a wedge between the two saying that we can only know that the canon is perfect if the Church is given a gift of infallibility herself. So I ask them why we must assume that the locus of infallibility lies within the Church rather than within God who inspired the individual books to begin with, and I’ve never gotten much of an answer. There is no good historical, theological, or philosophical reason why we need to place the locus of infallibility within the Church.

    Bryan told me in the last thread that we need to be distinguishing between1) inspiration of the individual books and 2) the collection of the books into the canon because God distinguished them. My answer to Bryan was that we too distinguish the writing from the collecting process. But the question back to him is why does he want to separate the two processes and then apply divine inspiration to only one of them? That’s the oddity in the Roman Catholic position.

    So why do the Catholics do this? Two reasons that I can think of although there may be more. Firstly, in the apologetic to Protestants a key pillar of the argument for the general infallibility of the decisions of the Church (as this is defined by Rome) is the recognition of the Church’s role in the process of assembling God’s Word. If they have to concede anything to us then they are discarding a key apologetic tool for demonstrating general ecclesiastical infallibility.

    And then the second reason would be to maintain the speculative dogmatic system of the Scholastic era. The RCC of this era took the degrees of epistemological certainty of the Greeks and modified and applied them to the work of the Church. Surely, they reasoned, reason would dictate a system by which some matters at the center of the faith (de fide types of dogmatic statements) must be promulgated by the Church with absolute certainty. There is still some theoretical distinction between Scripture and de fide pronouncements but for all practical purposes they are equivalent.

    But I think you already agree with me on this stuff. So why did I write this? I dunno, I felt like pontificating a little I suppose.

  354. paigebritton said,

    December 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Yes, Andrew, I am in agreement with you. My comment about the lack of direct revelation has to do with an inspired publication of the list per se (as Turretin Fan on the other thread was trying to clarify with you). In contrast, of course, is the published list of the magisterium, which because of its source has (it is claimed) official authority. We don’t get to lean on such a source, but (we claim) God didn’t intend us to do so in the first place.
    pax,
    pb

  355. paigebritton said,

    December 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Ron #350 –

    The point is, we can know we have the canon and that knowledge can be deduced from God’s promises, his character and his sovereignty over the affairs of men. With said knowledge, we may have certainty though we may have doubts.

    Aw, you mean we don’t get signs and miracles and present-day prophets to double-triple-certify everything for us?? You mean we just have to take God at his word?? But that’s so hard….

    :) pb

  356. David Weiner said,

    December 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Jeff,

    I am pretty sure it is not possible for you to hijack a conversation. Illuminate, yes. Elevate, yes. Hijack, no.

    I just want to see if I am understanding you. Each of us has certain knowledge from life and certain spiritual gifts (faith being one), received from the Holy Spirit. So, if such a one says they are certain that “the 66 is the canon,” then it would also have been equivalent for them to have said that they held it highly probable that “the 66 is the canon.” Or, as Steve put it, that this assertion had the highest possible epistemic status. But, in no case is anybody in a position to say that he is certain, meaning with a mathematical probability of 1.00000.

    Well, I started this being happy with induction and reproducibility (humanly speaking). And, I am now certain that that is the best we can do. By the way, I knew the pot was hot because that was not the first time I had touched it. :-)

  357. Ron said,

    December 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    The response to Hume is, “There is an outside chance that some other cause hurt my hand; but here — give me your hand and let’s test it!” In other words, science responds to Hume with reproducibility.

    Real quick, I’m about to jump on a bird…What you’re saying is that reproducibility (or uniformity) presupposes that in all probability the future will be like the past, but that is to beg the question since probability presupposes reproducibility (or uniformity). Which brings us to Kant who merely psychologized science but got us no closer to how things are let alone how they will probably be in the future. Reproducibility is intelligible when we presuppose a common Creator of both our minds and the external stuff that is independent of our minds. We know this creator by revelation. God is the orderer of the stuff and the one who has given us categories of thought by which a fruitful connection can be made between the mind and the mind-independent stuff.

    With regard to Scripture, the
    argument to certainty is akin to the reproducibility argument:
    * The people of God, almost universally, have accepted the 66 books as canonical, so they have a high degree of probability of being so.
    * The people of God have debated the status of the Apocrypha, so they have a relatively low probability of being so.
    * The Gospel of Thomas … well, it’s right out.

    Ouch. I would never say that our confidence in the canon is based upon probability. It’s based upon a promise from a God who cannot lie, which presupposes that he has the sovereign power to pull off what he promised, to build his church upon the Word. It is no wonder that the people of God almost universally accept the Protestant canon, but that Christians agree on the canon merely corroborates what we know by way of God’s promise, truthfulness and sovereignty – that the church would be built upon the canon. The results – the church being founded on Scripture, is not how we know, it corroborates what we’ve been told would happen.

    Ron

  358. Ron said,

    December 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Paige, don’t make me laugh out loud in public! :)

  359. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 7, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Ron, I agree with your points about presupposing order because of the Creator. My question would be for you:

    In your model, what is the ground of certainty that when you open up Biblia Hebraica or Nestle-Aland 23 or whatever, that the table of contents and text (separate questions!) are both correct?

    I get (and agree) that God promised to build His church upon the Word, but here you have Rome claiming to be The Church with The Word — and their conclusions are different from ours. On what basis do you know that they are wrong and you are right?

  360. michael said,

    December 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Where have they gone?

    The Romanists have fallen silent in here.

    I hope against hope it is because Christ, our Champion, has arisen in their hearts by the power of the Spirit and they have put their right hand over their mouth in utter amazement at the revelation of the Truth told by such a diverse group of lights shining in here to their darkened souls?

    Of course, they believe we are the ones who have had our souls darkened.

  361. michael said,

    December 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    As to Tom Riello’s comment and his invitation to view a distinguished gentleman of his faith on a Catholic produced television station, he wrote:

    Dr. Anders is a former Presbyterian who came into the Church.

    Of course I take some exception to this sentence. Reading that was like being punched in the gut!

    It seems to me that sentence was not necessary and raises a concern within me, too. I read above others comments about his invitation to view the program.

    In fairness though, I will just believe the best about the sentence being included in the advertisement and let it lead into comments about some of my thoughts about “The Church” instead.

    I have read and am re-reading a book by Dr. J.V. Fesko, Justification, Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine, P&R Publishing. In this book, Dr. Fesko writes this about “The Church”; and, when one lets down their guard and grasps his understanding of Her, The Church, by what he writes, one should get a sense of Her in a way that quite frankly is extraordinary. His view of Her shows us all an opposite point of view than Mr. Reillo’s sentence shows us about the church he claims he is a part of.

    I hope in citing Dr. Fesko’s writing one comes to the same stark reality of the church of the Romanists and The Church?

    From page 409, Dr. Fesko writes:

    ” … In other words, how does the verdict of justification relate to the course of pre-redemptive or redemptive history? If Christ is the last Adam, and he is the fountainhead of the age to come, of the eschaton, then the justification pronounced over those who place their faith in him is eschatological, final, and irreversible. This means that the verdict from the final judgment on the last day has been declared in the present. Justification does not merely restore the sinner to the potentially defectible state of the first Adam only to face probation once again. Or, in simpler terms, justification does not merely return us to the garden. Rather, noting the inherently eschatological nature of justification tells us that Christ has performed the work for us and that we enter the eternal state by faith alone in him; by faith, we are propelled into the indefectible state of the last Adam.”

    Now, here, in my view and personal judgment, I see no difference with the “anointing” on Dr. Fesko’s description of the Church, how one becomes a part of Her and these anointed Words of Scripture Paul the Apostle reveals to the Corinthians about Her, here:

    1Co 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.
    1Co 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
    1Co 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
    1Co 15:19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
    1Co 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
    1Co 15:21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
    1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
    1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

    1Co 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
    1Co 15:34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

    1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
    1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
    1Co 15:45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
    1Co 15:46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.
    1Co 15:47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
    1Co 15:48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.
    1Co 15:49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

    So, to Mr. Riello, if Mr. Anders is to elucidate the Church as both the Apostle Paul and Dr. Fesko elucidate “The Church”, then perhaps watching that broadcast will be edifying. If not, well then, watching the broadcast might be useful to some who simply want to understand better how some misrepresent Her so as to engage one’s faith when misrepresenting Her in an effort to correct the record about Her.

    After all, Peter, the Apostle, a married man by the way, after some time as an anointed voice of the Church through Christ did exhort Her this way:

    1Pe 3:13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?
    1Pe 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
    1Pe 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
    1Pe 3:16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

    I for one, never came to the Church. Rather, Christ was sent to me by the sanctifying work of the Spirit through the Scriptures and when He opened my mind to understand them, I began the process of increasing in His wisdom and knowledge and understanding of The Church.

    One final acknowledgment then; quite frankly, I have learned so much more about The Church and several of Her gifted Ministers by reading all of the comments in here. Things have become more clear. The clarity is not blinding. And in some ways, the exchanges between the participants hereon following the article has been both ordinary and extraordinary!

    I hope more debate will follow and more can be said in here about Her in the Spirit of Grace and Truth?

  362. steve hays said,

    December 7, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    AJ said,

    “Then, all of these discussions really fall on ‘confident assurance’ principle that our faith which is a Divine Revelation and the infallible Revealed word of God is at the end arrived at by ‘confident assurance’ or ‘high probability.’”

    Of course, any case for Roman Catholicism will have to take recourse to probabilistic arguments.

    “This principle goes against the very Scripture: ‘He that HEARS YOU HEARS ME; and he that rejects you rejects Me; and he that rejects Me rejects Him that sent Me.’ (Luke 10:16). It sounds to me a very strong delegation of a Living Authority – some more (2 Tim 1:13;Mt 11:15; 2 Thess 2:15; 2 Thess 3:6b; 1 Cor 11:2b; John 15:26, 16:12)”

    i) Notice his reliance on Scripture. How would he establish the same point without recourse to Scripture?

    ii) Who is the “you” and “me” in Lk 10:16? In context, the “you” are the seventy (-two) missionaries hand-picked by Jesus, while the “me” is Jesus himself. The “Living Authority” is Jesus.

    It’s not a papal conclave picking the next pope. It’s not a Roman bishop consecrating another Roman bishop. Rather, it’s Jesus directly choosing some missionaries, who are also not described as “successors” to anyone.

    iii) Protestants don’t deny the notion of delegated authority.

  363. dozie said,

    December 7, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    “This is not some game we’re playing”. It is a game you are playing Mr. King, and you been nasty at it. Protestantism never fails to amaze me. Here you have a “pastor”, even of 5 people, who devotes an ungodly amount of time chasing the air on this site and elsewhere. If someone needs a break…

  364. TurretinFan said,

    December 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    A pastor seeking to evangelize the lost, and the lost complain about it. Nothing changes, Dozie!

  365. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    We don’t get to lean on such a source, but (we claim) God didn’t intend us to do so in the first place.

    Paige, this brings us back to your comment about living in the “real world.” You live in a world where human institutions don’t need gifts of infallibility for God to give us the level of certainty that He intended. But the Catholic lives in that other world and for the apologist living in that world they have the unenviable task of trying to convince us that if we don’t live in their world we commit intellectual suicide. But I do think that some of the more reasonable Catholic apologists are willing to consider the possibility that God really can work through fallible institutions even as those institutions deliberate on matters at the heart of the Christian gospel. As I remember you suggested earlier that there is an element of faith in the Protestant world here that is lacking in that of Catholicism. Perhaps there is something to this….

    Anyway, for those Catholics who are willing to concede that we can live in your real world and not commit intellectual and spiritual hari kari then maybe they will be willing to look back into the history of the Christian faith and consider whether there is any sense in which the ECF’s held to the kind of ecclesiastical infallibility of the RCC in the High Middle Age. If there was nothing to suggest this historically then the Catholic is faced with possibility that the Early Church only utilized the Scriptures as an infallible standard. If they affirm this they are essentially affirming sola scriptura and are perhaps on their way across the Tiber, but this time swimming West

  366. michael said,

    December 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    dozie:

    ” … Protestantism never fails to amaze me.

    And that is?

    I am sincerely curious to understand what it is that you find obvious about Protestantism?

    Can you contribute some substance to what it is that amazes you about Protestantism?

    I assume you are being critical of Pastor King and or Protestantism or just Pastor King’s approach to evangelism or Protestantism?

  367. John Bugay said,

    December 7, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Andrew, if “infallibility” didn’t exist until the middle ages, I wonder how all those first-millenium Christians got by without it?

  368. TurretinFan said,

    December 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Andrew:

    You don’t seem to have responded to my longer comment above. Let me make it shorter:

    Inspiration (as a technical New Testament term) refers not to the writing (the act) but the writings (the document). It is the Scriptures that are inspired, not specifically the scripting of them. The Scriptures are God-breathed – they exhibit verbal, plenary inspiration.

    Saying that the collection (the act of collecting) is “inspired,” consequently is confusing. If I may make a suggestion, it might make more sense to speak generally of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, rather than inspiration, to avoid confusion. The Holy Spirit guided men to write the Scripture, he guided men to collect the Scriptures, he guides men to preach the Scriptures, and he guides men to hear the Scriptures.

    Or perhaps I simply misunderstand you.

    - TurretinFan

  369. Ron said,

    December 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Jeff,

    I think the Romanist “Bible” has been addressed in this thread or in another thread in the past month or so. In brief, the apocryphal books were never received by the early church as having the authority that comes with the very word of God. See thread with comments pertaining to Melito, Athanasius, Jerome’s Latin Vulgate and even as late as Hugo of St. Victor. I don’t recall if all these men were cited, but their testimonies demonstrate that the hidden books were not regarded as inspired. I do think I remember Jerome and Athanasius being cited by at least DTK if not also TF. The big irony is Jerome, given that Romanism held the Vulgate in such high regard. NOTE: The point is, not being received as the word of God shows them not to be the word of God because the promise was that the word of God would be foundational to the church and the apocrypha played no such part. In other words, Jerome isn’t deciding for us, but rather God decided for Jerome! Aside from that polemic, we can appreciate *why* these books weren’t received, but that I believe is secondary. Jesus never placed his imprimatur upon them as being authoritative. Consistent with that, the early church realized that the oracles of God were entrusted to the Jews (Romans 3) yet the Jews did not receive those books as inspired. Thirdly, the books clearly don’t come with the authority of Scripture. Consider Paul saying in 1 Cor. 14 that what he writes is a commandment from the God and his exercising of apostolic authority in placing God’s anathema upon false gospels (Galatians 1), and compare that with the tentativeness of ii Maccabees “if it is poorly done and mediocre, that was the best I could do”. Also there are time line errors and one book even says Nebuchadnezzar is king of Assyria! There are other obvious errors sprinkled about the books. Here’s the point: Since they are not inspired we can expect errors; we can expect the Jews to have not received them under God’s providence; and we can expect that Jesus wouldn’t have endorsed them as Scripture. I’ll stay away from the doctrines they affirm that Rome embraces because that will get us nowhere even though those doctrines contradict Scripture, like prayers for the dead.

    With CVT, I would say that when a car drives on a wet highway (hydroplanes) it doesn’t touch the road but it is upheld by the road. That is how I look at my NKJ Bible in my computer bag. We can get into textual criticism if you like, but it won’t undermine our knowledge that the church has received exactly what God had intended. All God’s promises come to pass.

    Oh, and one more thing, given that the Roman communion at Trent placed her unambiguous anathema upon the gospel (and consequently upon herself in a prophetic sort of way), we can be assured that if it’s between us or them certainly she doesn’t have the true Bible, but don’t let that undermine what’s already been said.

    I haven’t eaten since breakfast………..

    RD

  370. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    TF,

    I’m really sorry, I must have missed your comment above (what number was it BTW?). My point to the Catholics is that when God speaks of His Word we should not split the processes into two and say that God only infallibly guided the writing of the individual texts but not the collection of the texts. It’s all the process by which the God brought His Word to His people. The same God who oversaw the writing oversaw the collecting. So we don’t need to be concerned that one day it will be discovered that the Bible is incomplete or has too many books. At least for the Protocanonicals, both Catholic and Protestant can know that the canon is incapable of error. For us this surety is located immediately in God who worked through the Church, for the Catholic it is located most immediately in the Church who has been given a gift of infallibility by God. The apologetic battle takes shape over the Catholic claim that they have solved something by inserting an infallible Church between an infallible God and the canon. It is up to us to show that they have gained nothing by this tactic.

    My issue with saying just “guidance” is that the immediate question will be what level of certainty will be associated with this guidance. God guides all of us in many ways in His ordinary providence but we don’t say that we are being guided in such a way that we cannot possibly err. “Guidance” does not go far enough to explain the concept IMO.

  371. paigebritton said,

    December 7, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Andrew –
    But the Catholic lives in that other world and for the apologist living in that world they have the unenviable task of trying to convince us that if we don’t live in their world we commit intellectual suicide.

    Which is ironic, because don’t we look at the swim across the Tiber (away from the Reformation) as a kind of intellectual suicide? (i.e., “If someone will just TELL me what to believe, it will be such a relief!”) Though I guess there is plenty of opportunity in apologetics and philosophy to exercise those restless intellectual gifts.

    In my observation, from hanging around here for the last year or so, the relief of finding an infallible magisterium can be a strongly influential psychological component in a person’s conversion to Rome. Protestantism’s “dangerous idea” can be an overwhelming and scary thing when one becomes aware of it. (Not saying that all of the Catholic participants who interact here have gotten where they are for that particular reason — but it’s no accident that the charges of the fragmentation of Protestantism and the “individualism” of Prot interpretation are relentlessly sounded. They KNOW this is the place where people crumble.)

    Realizing this potential weak point is a motivation for me to keep pushing back with the confession that God, who is good, set up the world with certain challenges in it for our good, as individuals and as the church. Hence the attempt to communicate the idea that God “ordinarily works ordinarily,” rather than through the miraculous and supernatural trappings that one comes to expect from Catholic doctrines.

    Thanks for your good thinking!
    Paige

  372. dozie said,

    December 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    “I am sincerely curious to understand what it is that you find obvious about Protestantism?”

    It is obvious to me that Protestantism is not of God. The state of Protestantism can clearly be seen as evidence of God’s revolt against it – smitten of God into ten thousand pieces. Yet, the people bloat about and pretend they, instead, have God in a cage. I am sure that deep down in their private and quiet moments, they must know they are anti-God – outside the Ark. But as it is, Protestantism is an eyesore. Now, some will be bold enough to defend the state of Protestantism as the ideal. You mention J. Packer; they say he is one of us. You mention J. Spong; they say he is not one us, yet both Js belong to the same communion. They defend the duplicity in Protestantism but will deny Trinity Broadcasting, Benny Hinn, Eddie Long, Ted Haggard but by what criteria they will never tell you. Whoever chases after Protestantism chases after thin air – the religion is indefinable; it has no standard beliefs, creeds or canons because according its own principles, everything is subject to change – change according to the dictates of “Protestant scholarship” and a legion of book hawkers. This aberration of western culture abhors beauty; it abhors art and greatness; it insists on tearing God apart if it were possible, as it has already torn apart western civilization – a civilization built by the Church. In short, Protestantism is the worst thing to ever happen to humanity. It is far worse than Islam.

  373. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Andrew, if “infallibility” didn’t exist until the middle ages, I wonder how all those first-millenium Christians got by without it?

    John,

    I’ve sometimes wondered if the first theologians who started speculating that the Church was infallible realized that they would only be able make such a pronouncement based on the judgment of the Church. Talk about trying to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps!

  374. paigebritton said,

    December 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    p.s. — I’m pretty sure TF’s comments to you re. inspiration and the canon (v. “guidance”) were on the previous thread, not this one. Near the end.

  375. D. T. King said,

    December 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    “This is not some game we’re playing”. It is a game you are playing Mr. King, and you been nasty at it. Protestantism never fails to amaze me. Here you have a “pastor”, even of 5 people, who devotes an ungodly amount of time chasing the air on this site and elsewhere. If someone needs a break…

    Mr. Dozie, thanks for sharing your private judgment of how I spend my time, of which you are clueless. I know I’m a thorn in the side of Romanists, but folk like yourself make it all worthwhile.

    But if you really want me off the blog, please register your complaint with the moderators here, who if they are disposed for me to cease and desist from posting, I will disappear immediately to your gratification I’m sure. I have witnessed many Romanists throughout the years who love to pontificate to Protestants how to operate their blogs, so let me encourage you to take up your complaint with them. All they have to do is ask me to move on, and I will with no hard feelings to any. :)

    Again, thanks for sharing your private judgment. :)

  376. Ron said,

    December 7, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Please forgive me David, but Mr. Dozie, I believe Pastor King spends all his waking hours devoted to God. You have no clue how he labors in His word and on behalf of his people. He’s a blessing to the flock in ways you might not be able to grasp.

    Ron

    P.S. I for one am glad he’s a thorn in the flesh of Romanists. So were all the Reformers, as was Saint Paul to the Judaizers.

  377. Ron said,

    December 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    It is obvious to me that Protestantism is not of God. The state of Protestantism can clearly be seen as evidence of God’s revolt against it – smitten of God into ten thousand pieces. Yet, the people bloat about and pretend they, instead, have God in a cage. I am sure that deep down in their private and quiet moments, they must know they are anti-God – outside the Ark. But as it is, Protestantism is an eyesore. Now, some will be bold enough to defend the state of Protestantism as the ideal. You mention J. Packer; they say he is one of us. You mention J. Spong; they say he is not one us, yet both Js belong to the same communion. They defend the duplicity in Protestantism but will deny Trinity Broadcasting, Benny Hinn, Eddie Long, Ted Haggard but by what criteria they will never tell you. Whoever chases after Protestantism chases after thin air – the religion is indefinable; it has no standard beliefs, creeds or canons because according its own principles, everything is subject to change – change according to the dictates of “Protestant scholarship” and a legion of book hawkers. This aberration of western culture abhors beauty; it abhors art and greatness; it insists on tearing God apart if it were possible, as it has already torn apart western civilization – a civilization built by the Church. In short, Protestantism is the worst thing to ever happen to humanity. It is far worse than Islam.

    The guy’s a raving maniac, or a driveling fool. Even Meredith Kline would have called for his execution for blasphemy against the church, but with me not before giving him the gospel – even pleading with him to turn from his wicked ways.

  378. dozie said,

    December 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    “A pastor seeking to evangelize the lost, and the lost complain about it. Nothing changes, Dozie!”

    If all your “pastor” were like your “pastor” here, all your service centers would be empty and they would be on the interne trying to look busy. The primary work of a pastor is to pastor – feeding the sheep and the lamb. Then again, the “pastor” here should be ideal for you but I was only pointing out the deformity that is Protestantism. I would be embarrassed if a Catholic priest spent in a week one-tenth of the time the celebrated Protestant pastor spends on blogs in a day. Of course, experience and history show that Protestants hate getting their hands dirty. They love to hide behind keyboards and tear down those who get their hands dirty in the real battlefields.

  379. michael said,

    December 7, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    dozie,

    yours and my paths have crossed before. I just cannot recall on what blog?

    You wrote referring to Protestantism this:

    as it has already torn apart western civilization – a civilization built by the Church. In short, Protestantism is the worst thing to ever happen to humanity. It is far worse than Islam.

    Leaving off the previous portions of your rant above, I am smiling as I read that last part there! :)

    I guess you are clueless about our Fearless Leader and what He is up to in this present evil world we find ourselves right now typing thoughts and ideas back at each other and the others in here!

    Try to comprehend some of His Thoughts and Ideas that reflect somewhat accurately what I find strangely correct about your assessment about us Prots that I cite above, your last sentences of that rant against us:

    Luk 11:14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled.
    Luk 11:15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,”
    Luk 11:16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven.
    Luk 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.
    Luk 11:18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.
    Luk 11:19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
    Luk 11:20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
    Luk 11:21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe;
    Luk 11:22 but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.
    Luk 11:23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

    Or better yet, how about these Words of our Dear Fearless Leader?

    Joh 12:20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
    Joh 12:21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”
    Joh 12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
    Joh 12:23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
    Joh 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
    Joh 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
    Joh 12:26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
    Joh 12:27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
    Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
    Joh 12:29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
    Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine.
    Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.

    Now, if those Words don’t grip your purpose, maybe these Words will?

    You might be a Roman Catholic so in deference to your faith, if you are, I quote your first Pope Peter. Try and get your head around what he was teaching us then, here:

    2Pe 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
    2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
    2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
    2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
    2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    So, I hope you can see that I quite agree with your assessment of Protestantism, True Biblical Christianity Protestantism that is?

    Let me post again your words that I agree with and button things up:

    as it has already torn apart western civilization – a civilization built by the Church. In short, Protestantism is the worst thing to ever happen to humanity. It is far worse than Islam.

    Finally, I leave off honoring Paige and her thread that started this dialogue between us all in here commenting on aspects of it with a more Biblically based lietmotif by citing Psalm 149:

    Psa 149:1 Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!
    Psa 149:2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
    Psa 149:3 Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
    Psa 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.
    Psa 149:5 Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds.
    Psa 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands,
    Psa 149:7 to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples,
    Psa 149:8 to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
    Psa 149:9 to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the LORD!

    How’s that for some all inspiring work of Faith among the nations and tearing apart western civilization and eastern civilization, becoming the worse thing that could ever happen to this present evil world of humanity within all civilizations, north, south, east and west?

  380. Roger du Barry said,

    December 8, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Papists must reject certainty on principle, because they do not know what faith is. They deny that certainty is a key element of saving faith, as a point of doctrine. The Reformation insisted upon it as a defining element of faith. That is the fundamental difference between us.

    Therefore Romanism necessarily involves a rejection of certainty. They live in a sea of doubt, and call it faith. Since they cannot endure this absence of certainty despite their protestations, they invent a new kind of assurance – an infallible leader with the X-factor of never getting it wrong on key points.

    Certainty is now transferred from the Word of God to a fallen man, who, by the way, claims to be the Ruler of the Princes of the earth. IOW he is Christ on earth.

    The de facto situation is now that Papists no longer need to have faith in Christ at the right hand of Power, but Christ on earth, the vicarious Christ, who offers them the certainty that the true Christ cannot.

  381. David Gadbois said,

    December 8, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Dozie is going to have to make a reasoned, logical argument in defense of his Romanism the next time he posts or I will look forward to deleting his comments from now on. We regularly allow plenty of heat in these discussions, but it has to be backed up with substance, it cannot just be demagogic bile.

  382. paigebritton said,

    December 8, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Roger #379–
    Nicely put!

  383. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

    ….don’t we look at the swim across the Tiber (away from the Reformation) as a kind of intellectual suicide?

    Paige – I suppose we do, although when the Catholics tell us that our faith is intellectually barren it’s generally something philosophical rather than historical or exegetical. They are convinced that we cannot know various things with certainty such as the canon. But it’s always a judgment they are making from the perspective of the Catholic world. At CTC I’ve pointed out that in the end it comes down to them judging us by distinctly Catholic presuppositions.

    (Not saying that all of the Catholic participants who interact here have gotten where they are for that particular reason — but it’s no accident that the charges of the fragmentation of Protestantism and the “individualism” of Prot interpretation are relentlessly sounded. They KNOW this is the place where people crumble.)

    True. And I understand the comfort of coming to a community perceived to be directly connected to the Apostles (“we have Peter as our Father”) that gives them answers to the problems they have been wrestling with. I also understand the similar kind of comfort that the Jews found in their community (“we have Abraham as our Father”) and how scary it must have been to strike out into the bold unknown with this little group of folks following that Jesus guy. And I think I can even understand the comfort that the Evangelicals turned atheist/agnostic feel as they move away from what they perceive to be the intellectually inconsistent system of Christianity to the intellectually respectable community of academic scholars whose work has obviously been tested against the wisdom of the ages.

    But as I listen to the ex-Protestants who have gone down the Roman Road I have been somewhat puzzled at the intellectual problems that have caused them such grief. I was thinking this again as a I listened to a bit of the interview of that Anders guy on EWTN that Tom R posted the link to. I feel quite certain that I can demonstrate to this kind of person that their perceived problems stem from their misconceptions of historic Protestant thinking rather than something inherently contradictory about the Reformed system. But folks who start down the Roman way seem to get to a point of no return where they just can no longer get their minds around what we are telling them. They have had the RC lobotomy and the old connections are gone. Or something like that….

    OK, so on my use of the swimming the Tiber metaphor, I talked about swimming East by which I meant being in the heart of Rome and then coming West away from Rome. But actually the Vatican is across the river so if you wanted to leave Rome (the RCC) across the Tiber you would actually swim East. I should have thought of this since I was just there. Anyway, enough of analyzing metaphors…..

  384. steve hays said,

    December 8, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Dozie’s attack on Pastor King is hypocritical. A basic duty of a pastor is to protect the sheep from the wolves.

    Papists like Bryan Cross come to Green Baggins because it’s a widely-read Protestant blog. They use it to get a hearing for their religion.

    Pastor King is simply countering that. He is reaching the Reformed community at large (and other Protestants who happen to frequent Green Baggins). Here’s a perfect illustration of why the church needs marksmen like Pastor King:

    **************

    Tim Enloe said…

    By equal-and-opposite contrast, in your run of the mill Protestant church (not Reformed), the people are also not taught much of anything serious either about the Bible or about anything else. They go through their Christian life thinking that Christianity is all about their private feelings about Jesus, their private views about “the literal interpretation” of the Bible, and “sharing their testimony” with others so that those others, too, can “invite Jesus into their hearts” and “get saved.”

    They are never taught anything about basic principles of Bible interpretation, the history of the faith outside of their own denomination, how to think about cultural issues in a biblical fashion, and, most basically, how to have a faith that is just simply not afraid of the world. Most of them don’t read widely (let alone deeply), unless you count the Left Behind novels, Max Lucado devotionals, and the church bulletin’s sermon outline every Sunday as “wide” and “deep” reading.

    No wonder people like this fall prey to a no-context citing blowhard like “Taylor Marshall, Westminster Seminary, 2003” or to a “Where’s your authority? In the peace of Christ” blowhard like Bryan Cross, or to any of 1,000 virtually identical mushy-gushy conversion testimonies on EWTN.

    No wonder they radically upend their entire religious lives – and sometimes their entire home lives, complete with radical effects on their spouses and children – because some hack on the Internet told them that three citations from Ignatius of Antioch and a tract about how Luther invented sola fide from scratch because he hated authority and thought he was divinely inspired provide unbeatable proof that Roman Catholicism is the one true Church that Christ founded.

    Nobody ever helped them prepare to deal with any of this, let alone to deal with the complexities of the world and how to relate their faith to it. A pastoral intern in the PCA church I attended in Dallas once came to me after the service and told me that Bryan Cross was running around several Protestant pastors’ blogs spewing his tripe about “authority,” and the pastors were just blowing him off, despite the fact that their own people, their own sheep whom God gave them to protect from sophists like that, were getting very confused about Scripture and their faith in Christ from reading Cross’ inanity. This intern then asked me if I had any materials he could present to these pastors and people so that they could be inoculated against Cross. I did, and I passed them on, but the whole thing just deeply saddened me and made me realize how, for all our wonderful apologetics ministries, somehow we Protestants are still deeply failing to prepare our people for dealing with the world outside the church walls.

    You’re right, John, none of these people, Catholic or Protestant, are necessarily idiots. They’re for the most part just deeply (and often unconsciously) scared, spiritually shallow, improperly shepherded, intellectually unprepared human beings who got all destabilized by some spiritual trauma they endured, and very much like human beings, flailed around until they grabbed whatever life preserver they could find.

    http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/09/did-martin-luther-believe-in-immaculate.html?showComment=1285948551983#c2000690175823243265

  385. David Gray said,

    December 8, 2010 at 8:32 am

    >Of course, experience and history show that Protestants hate getting their hands dirty. They love to hide behind keyboards and tear down those who get their hands dirty in the real battlefields.

    Really? Is that why when my grandfather was imprisoned several times as a missionary by the Roman Catholic Church in South America back in the 30s the priests who had him imprisoned slept between clean sheets while he was in a cell for the gospel?

  386. TurretinFan said,

    December 8, 2010 at 10:07 am

    AJ:

    I had written, “The quest for 100% certainty about things is not realistic…. What we have with respect to the Scriptures is CONFIDENT ASSURANCE.” (caps added by you, AJ)

    You responded: “Then, all of these discussions really fall on “confident assurance” principle that our faith which is a Divine Revelation and the infallible Revealed word of God is at the end arrived at by “confident assurance” or “high probability”.”

    I’m not sure why having confident assurance should be problematic. I think the way it is being disparaged is by equating it to “high probability.” But if we are as sure about something as we possibly can be, why would that be problematic?

    You wrote: “If Sola Scriptura is not meant to be an inerrant claim, then why should I take a doctrinal novelty that may actually be false and make it the foundation of my faith?”

    a) Sola Scriptura is meant to be a true claim (or actually a true claim and a true denial – a true claim about Scripture, a true denial about other rules of faith). True and “inerrant” are related but not interchangeable concepts.

    b) The Scriptures are the foundation of our faith. They are inerrant.

    c) The idea that Scriptures are the foundation of our faith is not a doctrinal novelty.

    You wrote: “If I can’t ever know with certainty that Luther’s novel doctrine of sola scriptura is true, then why should I accept it in the first place?”

    a) It’s not “Luther’s novel doctrine.”

    b) You can establish that sola scriptura is true.

    c) If you apply the same radical skepticism to everything that you apply to Scripture, you wouldn’t be able to know anything with certainty. But that’s an absurd result, so you shouldn’t apply your radical skepticism to Scripture.

    You wrote: “This principle goes against the very Scripture: “He that HEARS YOU HEARS ME; and he that rejects you rejects Me; and he that rejects Me rejects Him that sent Me.” (Luke 10:16).”

    a) The only way I hear any of the apostles (the 12 or the 70) these days is in the Scripture.

    b) If you have a time machine that works, I’m game to go back and hear the apostles some other way.

    You wrote: “It sounds to me a very strong delegation of a Living Authority – some more (2 Tim 1:13;Mt 11:15; 2 Thess 2:15; 2 Thess 3:6b; 1 Cor 11:2b; John 15:26, 16:12)”

    a) Your opinion is noted.

    b) We affirm those Scriptures.

    c) We also affirm that the elders of the church have authority.

    You wrote: “Manning’s words ring true here, ‘we are saved by truth; and truth which is not definite is no truth to us; and indefinite statements have no certainty; and without certainty there is no faith.’”

    In contrast, of course, we Reformed are saved by Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life. As Jesus told Thomas, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) But some people are doubting Thomases that will not believe without proof.

    You wrote:

    Without appealing to an outside source of authority (Tradition/Living Voice of God) and thus violating the principle of Sola Scriptura. Since no instruction are found in the scripture itself on how to identify which books are inspired and gives no definitive standard for obtaining the canon (list of books) thus the very assertion of protestants that books written by mere men (Scriptures) bears a characteristic of God which only those who have a relationship with Him can recognize violates the very nature of Sola Scriptura which teaches that we don’t need to look elsewhere beyond the pages of Scripture to determine this very information. (WCF included)

    Sola Scriptura assumes one has Scriptura as the starting point. I’m sorry that this is not obvious either to you or (it seems) to Tom Riello (Hi Tom, if you’re still hanging around here) who recently blogged a similar argument on this same question.

    -TurretinFan

  387. Reed Here said,

    December 8, 2010 at 10:09 am

    David Gadbois: Dozie has already been warned of this once. His ignoring the warning with its attached reasonable requests demonstrates a pattern of behavior that does not require more warnings.

    Delete away … I will be already.

  388. D. T. King said,

    December 8, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I think that the following gloss by Augustine is a helpful thought for all Mariolaters…

    Augustine (354-430): It is written in the Gospel, of the mother and brethren of Christ, that is, His kindred after the flesh, that, when word had been brought to Him, and they were standing without, because they could not come to Him by reason of the crowd, He made answer, “Who is My mother? or who are My brethren? and stretching forth His Hand over His disciples, He saith, These are My brethren: and whosoever shall have done the will of My Father, that man is to Me brother, and mother, and sister.” What else teaching us, than to prefer to kindred after the flesh, our descent after the Spirit: and that men are not blessed for this reason, that they are united by nearness of flesh unto just and holy men, but that, by obeying and following, they cleave unto their doctrine and conduct. Therefore Mary is more blessed in receiving the faith of Christ, than in conceiving the flesh of Christ. For to a certain one who said, “Blessed is the womb, which bare Thee,” He Himself made answer, “Yea, rather, blessed are they who hear the Word of God, and keep it.” Lastly, to His brethren, that is, His kindred after the flesh, who believed not in Him, what profit was there in that being of kin? Thus also her nearness as a Mother would have been of no profit to Mary, had she not born Christ in her heart after a more blessed manner than in her flesh. NPNF1: Vol. III, Of Holy Virginity, §3.

  389. David H. said,

    December 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Where have they gone?

    Michael,

    “I hope against hope it is because Christ, our Champion, has arisen in their hearts by the power of the Spirit and they have put their right hand over their mouth in utter amazement at the revelation of the Truth told by such a diverse group of lights shining in here to their darkened souls?

    Of course, they believe we are the ones who have had our souls darkened.”

    Here in lies the difference. We do not presume to know the status of your soul. If you are Christian I assume the best. If you trust in Christ and confess Nicene orthodoxy I call you brother. It is the opposite with your positon. You somehow know our souls are darkened as if our faith in Christ, because it does not follow your specific formula, cannot be genuine.

    If a man throws himself upon the mercy of Christ you presume to judge him because he does not say “I trust in the imputed righteousness of Christ by faith alone to cover my sins” you, unlike scripture, say “your trust in Christ is not genuine, you are going to hell”. You would say “he asked Mary to pray for him” he is going to hell. Thankfully scripture does not teach that – nor do you have the power to look into a man’s soul and determine whether his trust in Christ is real. Better to examine yourself as scripture admonishes than to try and speak for God.

    This should be instructive to all of us:

    “And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

    “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

    “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

    ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

    “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

    “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  390. michael said,

    December 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Ok David,

    so what are you getting at?

    Did you want me to parse out what you wrote?

    I obviously have a few things on my mind to respond to but it doesn’t seem like it would accomplish anything based on what you have just posted?

  391. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    David H (#389): If you trust in Christ and confess Nicene orthodoxy I call you brother.

    This is quite an encouraging statement, and I appreciate it. I do fear that it stands against Trent. :(

  392. TurretinFan said,

    December 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Not just Trent, but Vatican I, and Florence, and Nicaea II, and Chalcedon, and so forth. There are 21 Ecumenical Councils in Romanism, not just one. And there are multiple Papal documents, like Unam Sanctam which states: “we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

    -TurretinFan

  393. D. T. King said,

    December 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Mr. H. said: Here in lies the difference. We do not presume to know the status of your soul. If you are Christian I assume the best. If you trust in Christ and confess Nicene orthodoxy I call you brother. It is the opposite with your positon. You somehow know our souls are darkened as if our faith in Christ, because it does not follow your specific formula, cannot be genuine.

    I think your comment is inconsistent with the Council of Florence, which does presume to know the state of our souls…

    The Council of Florence (1441) declared in the Decree for the Jacobites, in the Bull Cantata Domino: It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic [read Roman] Church. See Henry Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, trans. Roy J. Deferrari, Thirtieth Ed. (Powers Lake: Marian House, published in 1954 by Herder & Co., Freiburg), #714, p. 230.

    Mr. H., the only way construe the Council of Florence to agree with you is, I think, to make it subject to the death of a thousand qualifications. Your communion, sir, has never rescinded Florence, nor the anathemas of Trent.

  394. Andrew McCallum said,

    December 8, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    A few years ago I heard a Catholic theologians talk about Cantate Domino and how it squares with the pronouncements of Vatican II. His take was that while the Catholic theologians of the time of the Council of Florence believed that formal membership in the Church of Rome was necessary for salvation, it did not explicitly say so in documents such as Cantate Domino, and that it is the actual confessional statements of the conciliar pronouncements rather than the intentions of the writers of these documents which is at issue. So, he reasoned, while Cantate Domino and Vatican II are contradictory in terms of the intentions of writers of these documents, Vatican II plays on the possibility that one can be imperfectly united with the Roman Church without being a formal member. The theologians of the time of the Council of Florence would have been outraged by such a resolution, but there you have it. Perhaps the only other alternative for the modern RCC theologian is to say that Florence or Vatican II is wrong but, at least for the conservatives in the RCC, they would rather jump off a tall building than say that!

    There is this growing group of theologians in the RCC known as sedevacantists (or sometimes ultraconservatives) who have come to the conclusion that Vatican II was flawed and that in this case what the Medieval RCC theologians believed about heretics, schismatics is correct and recent popes are wrong.. I can certainly see the temptation of this alternative.

    I’m glad to be thought of as “separated brethren” by my Catholic friends, but I do wonder how intellectually honest they are being with their own tradition. But of course that’s their problem to resolve rather than mine….

  395. David H said,

    December 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Thank you for your response, David.

    As it is my daughter’s birthday I will be brief while she is distracted.

    Florence predates the Reformation so it cannot be said to have had the particulars of that unique moment in history in mind. So the church had to deal with that later… which brings us to Trent.

    That is true about the anathemas of Trent. However, more recent pronouncements make it clear that the church does not consider those later generations or even the children of refomers to be under those anathemas.

    I certainly hope not to over simplify but the various councils and pronouncements of the Church, like scripture, need to be considered and understood in light of the whole (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church for this synthesis).

  396. louis said,

    December 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    The Roman church is blatantly idolatrous. You cannot knowingly and unrepentantly remain part of that church, assenting to her foul and obnoxious doctrines, and still be a Christian. Thinking you are doesn’t make you one. And yes, people can judge whether a person adheres to the gospel or not. It’s the same way we (and you, I presume) know that Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses aren’t Christian.

    Rome knew exactly what it was doing when it anathematized protestantism. It knew that protestant Christianity is inconsistent with the Roman religion, and vice versa. Modern public relations ploys don’t change that fact.

    You might think this is uncharitable, but actually it would be uncharitable to leave you in your delusions.

  397. D. T. King said,

    December 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Mr. H.:

    So that’s your evaluation of Florence and Trent? I don’t think it’s even profitable to pursue this discussion further, only to comment that private judgment is alive and well in the Roman communion, and past conciliar statements mean nothing. If you’re going to toss aside Florence and Trent in this manner, then who knows what you can toss away as well in terms of the first four ecumenical councils of the church, because they too predate the Reformation, and for Rome all ecumenical councils are to be regarded as infallible.

    This is why I say it’s a “never-never land” in which the Roman apologist has to live.

  398. TurretinFan said,

    December 8, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    “Florence predates the Reformation so it cannot be said to have had the particulars of that unique moment in history in mind.”

    That’s true, of course. Who would have thought one could defy Florence and be ok, though, between Florence and Vatican II?

    “So the church had to deal with that later… which brings us to Trent.”

    Well, it leads to the Council of Constance that burnt Huss first. But eventually, yes, to Trent, which didn’t start until Luther died and didn’t finish until Calvin died (approximately).

    “That is true about the anathemas of Trent. However, more recent pronouncements make it clear that the church does not consider those later generations or even the children of refomers to be under those anathemas.”

    Another remarkable discovery! I wonder what recent pronouncement, with equal authority to Trent, makes that clear? Perhaps when you return, you will let us know, as I have some traditionalist Roman apologists I’d like to pass it on to.

    “I certainly hope not to over simplify but the various councils and pronouncements of the Church, like scripture, need to be considered and understood in light of the whole (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church for this synthesis).”

    The effect is that they can never be fully understood, because part of the whole is yet to come, right?

    -TurretinFan

  399. paigebritton said,

    December 9, 2010 at 6:47 am

    The effect is that they can never be fully understood, because part of the whole is yet to come, right?

    !!! Well struck, sir.

  400. David H. said,

    December 9, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Louis,

    You will have to say the same thing about St. Augustine and any number of council Fathers that, frankly, you rely on as they formulated the orthodoxy that you take for granted. Trents doctrines could have been penned by St. Augustine (and Sts. Paul, Peter and James for that matter). So if you must embrace the reality that if you are right, then St. Augustine, Athansius and likely every one at Nicea and Chalcedon are in hell.

    What it comes down to is this: we all stand on the shoulders of others. None of us picked up the Bible and all on our own arrived at our current theological positions. I think those who choose to stand on the shoulders of giants like the early council fathers, Augustine etc. (who are all heretics according you because the theology of Trent was their theology) are on much safer ground than those who choose to stand on the shoulders of a small group of men who disagreed with each other radically and who lived 1500 after the apostles.

  401. TurretinFan said,

    December 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

    David H.

    You wrote: “You will have to say the same thing about St. Augustine and any number of council Fathers that, frankly, you rely on as they formulated the orthodoxy that you take for granted.”

    No, they did not formulate orthodoxy. Read their works. They obtained orthodoxy from the source of orthodoxy: Scripture.

    You wrote: “Trents doctrines could have been penned by St. Augustine (and Sts. Paul, Peter and James for that matter).”

    Augustine did not believe the doctrines that Trent defined as de fide dogma – and Trent’s dogmas were not apostolic. So, the “could” in your statement seems misleading at best.

    You wrote: “So if you must embrace the reality that if you are right, then St. Augustine, Athansius and likely every one at Nicea and Chalcedon are in hell.”

    That does not appear to follow.

    You wrote: “What it comes down to is this: we all stand on the shoulders of others. None of us picked up the Bible and all on our own arrived at our current theological positions. I think those who choose to stand on the shoulders of giants like the early council fathers, Augustine etc. (who are all heretics according you because the theology of Trent was their theology) …”

    a) On whose shoulders do you think the Reformers stood?

    b) Trent’s theology was not the theology of the fathers.

    c) Standing on their shoulders does not, of course, entail agreeing with absolutely everything they believed – it also includes learning from their mistakes.

    You continued: “… are on much safer ground than those who choose to stand on the shoulders of a small group of men who disagreed with each other radically and who lived 1500 after the apostles.”

    a) Are you talking about the fathers of Trent? I’m guessing you are not, though the description would fit them.

    b) We can learn both from the Reformers and from the giants on whose shoulders they stood, namely the preceding medieval theologians and early church fathers.

    c) But more important than that, we can build our churches on the one foundation that was laid, by going directly to the source of authority, Scripture, whenever there is any question. We could get by without the Reformers or the Fathers, but man lives by the Word of God – without it, we would perish. The Bible is our authority, whether we get help from the Reformers and fathers or not. It is the sine qua non of Christian orthodoxy in the post-apostolic era.

    -TurretinFan

  402. D. T. King said,

    December 9, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I never cease to be amazed at how Romanists generalize and gloss over the differences between the early church and the modern day dogmas of Rome. You folks act as though you’re operating with some kind of cognitive dissonance or mental block the way you simply presuppose, and that against all of history, that you folks are in doctrinal continuity with the early church, in spite of all of Rome’s peculiar novel dogmas. Romanism lives in a “never-never land” that is born of pure fantasy. And when confronted with it, all you do is bury your heads in the sand.

  403. David H. said,

    December 9, 2010 at 9:35 am

    David,

    As I said I had to be brief. I did not offer anything like a comprehensive evaluation.

    As to your general point I think you read more into what I wrote that what I actually wrote. One could easily point out seeming inconsistencies in any Chirstian system. I could certainly show where the WCF is seemingly at odds with Calvin’s Institutes, or other Reformed Confessions. But I can also see how seeming inconsistencies can be harmonized by a a good Reformed thinker. This is why proof-texting is a dangerous sport. In fact one can do with with the Bible. Does James contradict Paul? Sure looks like it. But I don’t believe he actually does.

    Context is everything. As with scripture we cannot atomize it to create doctrines, it must be taken as a whole to be understood properly. The same goes for the 2,000 year old church. Either you trust her or your don’t. But Protestants really can be accused of the same thinking you suggest only Catholics are guilty of. The vast majority of people who call themselves Reformed, for example, hold to Zwinigli’s view of the Lord’s Supper but call themselves Calvinists. Yet Calvin taught that views on the Lord’s Supper differing from his own were damnable heresy. So there really is no highground for the Reformed here because what were essentials to the Reformers are non-essentials to their children.

    As I said – if you are actually interested in how the various pronoucnements of councils are synthesized and hormonized you can go right to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I have yet to see anything close to an explanation for the fact that Luther and Calvin would condemn almost all modern Reformed people are damnable heretics for their views on the Sacraments.

    As a student of history you know that various councils dealt with the heresies of the time and how those pronoucements were played out centuries laters often differed based on the circumstance. If you read the reasons for Florence and the the entire council, as with Trent, Chalecedon or Vatican II you will know the specifics and the context. The church, in her wisdom can clarify such teachings for later generations in language they understand. Protestants cannot do that with the Reformers as I have shown about. Sure you can say that they were not considered infallible like were say of councils. But then how can you trust them on anything if the doctrines most dear to them, that they spilt the most ink on, that they considered essential for salvation are ones you reject?

  404. TurretinFan said,

    December 9, 2010 at 9:42 am

    David H.:

    Amongst your assertions, I found this one interesting: “The church, in her wisdom can clarify such teachings for later generations in language they understand.

    Give me one example of a council claiming to do that. Not an example of you claiming that a council is doing that, but an example of a council claiming to be clarifying an earlier conciliar teaching in language that a later generation can understand.

    I’ve seen councils say all sorts of things, but I cannot recall an instance where they claimed to be clarifying the language of a previous council. That said, there are numerous volumes of conciliar writings. Perhaps I overlooked something. What’s the factual basis for your assertion?

    - TurretinFan

  405. louis said,

    December 9, 2010 at 9:43 am

    David H.,

    You confirmed my point. We can’t both be Christian. If Trent is what the Apostles taught, then I and other Reformed Christians have exchanged the Apostolic deposit of faith for the teaching of “a small group of men who disagreed with each other radically and who lived 1500 after the apostles.” So please spare us the phony ecumenism.

  406. louis said,

    December 9, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Now isn’t it interesting that when Rome attempts to show that its doctrines are Apostolic, it looks to:

    a. some vaguely defined “oral tradition” that is apparently made up as they go along;

    b. a “consensus” of the fathers that isn’t really a consensus;

    c. in some cases, forgeries and spurious documents;

    d. best of all, the doctrine of “development”, which is basically an admission that the Apostles never taught it.

  407. D. T. King said,

    December 9, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Mr. H. claimed: As I said – if you are actually interested in how the various pronoucnements of councils are synthesized and hormonized you can go right to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I have yet to see anything close to an explanation for the fact that Luther and Calvin would condemn almost all modern Reformed people are damnable heretics for their views on the Sacraments.

    I’ve read the CCC, and I have yet to see anything close to an explanation for the fact that Augustine and the whole eastern church would condemn modern day Rome for its novel dogmas. That’s your cognitive dissonance at work.

    And as for your presuppositions about Calvin on the sacraments, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  408. David H. said,

    December 9, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Tfan,

    “No, they did not formulate orthodoxy. Read their works. They obtained orthodoxy from the source of orthodoxy: Scripture.”

    It is both. Are you saying the Nicene Creed wasn’t formulated? Of course it was. Was scripture it’s source material? Of course. We agree. And of course you must also agree with the Creed. How about the parts about being baptized for the remission of sins and the church being one, holy, Catholic and apostolic? Can you affirm them without pouring an entirely different meaning into them than the council fathers intended? Would you ever use such wording if you were, in your view, writing a Biblical creed?

    “Augustine did not believe the doctrines that Trent defined as de fide dogma – and Trent’s dogmas were not apostolic. So, the “could” in your statement seems misleading at best.”

    Why don’t we both go back and read him. Because it is hard to believe, if one reads Augustine and then reads Trent, they would find him having a problem with it. Far more problematic is when Protestants think he was some sort of proto-Calvin. Now that is a misleading idea.

    Me: “So if you must embrace the reality that if you are right, then St. Augustine, Athansius and likely every one at Nicea and Chalcedon are in hell.”

    You: “That does not appear to follow.”

    How so? Louis said one cannot knowingly adhere to Catholic doctrine and be a Christian. Even if we grant, which I do not, that the Fathers had some different beliefs than the modern RCC, it is those specific doctrines that most Protestants find damnable in Rome that the Fathers clealry hed without controversy. So an honest protestant, well read in the Fathers, who thinks Catholics are damned need to be consistent on this. I cannot see how it does not follow.

    “But more important than that, we can build our churches on the one foundation that was laid, by going directly to the source of authority, Scripture, whenever there is any question. We could get by without the Reformers or the Fathers, but man lives by the Word of God – without it, we would perish. The Bible is our authority, whether we get help from the Reformers and fathers or not. It is the sine qua non of Christian orthodoxy in the post-apostolic era.”

    Churches maybe but not The Church that Christ founded. The one that scripture teaches is the pillar and foundation of truth – not scripture alone. The built on Peter the rock who was told to feed His sheep.

  409. D. T. King said,

    December 9, 2010 at 10:37 am

    If you read the reasons for Florence and the the entire council, as with Trent, Chalecedon or Vatican II you will know the specifics and the context.

    I’m not even convinced you’ve read them, or if you have that you even understand them. As for Florence, you can sit around and pretend that “the specifics and context” will lead one to believe that Florence’s official pronouncement is irrelevant or doesn’t apply today, but that’s just a bunch of postmodern nonsense, and you need to preach that message to your staunch traditionalist and/or sedevacantist friends, and see how far it you get with them. And if you really believed you postmodern proclivities, you wouldn’t be trying to convince us that we’re heretics in lieu of your felt need to be a part of Romanism. What I appreciate about them (i.e., the traditionalists and/or sedevacantists) is their refusal to play your kind of games. You have to play these kind of games to avoid the obvious.

    Let me make something very clear to you – you folks don’t listen. *You* don’t listen. You pontificate. And the way you treat history demonstrates to me, as I’ve observed already, that you operate with cognitive dissonance, and that’s simply seeking to find a charitable explanation for your nonsense, in order to avoid calling you a liar.

    The church, in her wisdom can…

    The church in her wisdom can…essentially ignore the apostolic deposit of faith and create her own? That, no doubt, has to be what you mean by “clarify.”

  410. TurretinFan said,

    December 9, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Dave H.: I need more time to respond in depth to your latest comments. But no – the Nicene council members did not worship images, offer latria to the bread in the eucharist, or pray to Mary. They did not hold to a papalistic ecclesiology or – more significantly – soteriology (as per Unam Sanctam). They did not have a system of indulgences and they had never heard of place called “Purgatory.” They did not teach the Immaculate Conception or the Bodily Assumption of Mary. And – perhaps most significantly – they did not anathemetize justification through grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone, all to the glory of God alone, as Trent did – even if they did make all sorts of various errors in their theology.

    - TurretinFan

  411. louis said,

    December 9, 2010 at 11:27 am

    David said: “it is those specific doctrines that most Protestants find damnable in Rome that the Fathers clealry held….”

    This is false. The fathers did not hold those things, and more importantly Christ never taught them. It is Rome’s medieval accretions that are damnable. The problem is that you are incapable of seeing these as accretions, because you are incapable of weighing the actual evidence, and that is because you have a prior commitment to accept the story line that the Roman church gives you. If Rome says this is the way it is, then it must be so. Everything is then interpreted to fit into Rome’s claim. After all, if it is infallible, then by definition it can’t possibly be wrong. So everything has to be explained on the prior assumption that Rome is right.

    This is where facts and evidence become pliable, history is butchered, and scripture is twisted beyond recognition; all to the glory of Rome. There will be a kernel of Christian truth, but then it it disfigured into its opposite. That’s why it is a “never-never land”.

    Truly apostacy is a horrible thing. “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened… and then fallen away, to restore them again to repentance…. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it… if it bears thorns and thistles it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.” (Heb.6:4-8).

  412. David H. said,

    December 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    “I’ve read the CCC, and I have yet to see anything close to an explanation for the fact that Augustine and the whole eastern church would condemn modern day Rome for its novel dogmas. That’s your cognitive dissonance at work.”

    That is a pretty bold claim that is hard ot back up. What is certain is that Augustine and the pre-schism eastern church would most certainly recognize there Church in the Catholic Church (all 22 churches in communion with Rome). What is equally certain is that they would not only condemn Protestantism in all it’s forms as heresy and schism but they would not even recognize what it is if they walked into most protestant services… save for High Church Lutheranism and Anglicanism. It would be a foreign religion to them.

    A couple of Marian dogmas not fully defined would still be clearly familiar to them. Even Luther would acknolwedge most of them. In fact I recommend you attend a Sunday Liturgy at any Byzantine Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church and listen to what they actually say about Mary and you will not find an ally in your position.

    “That’s your cognitive dissonance at work.”

    Seems more appropriate to you trying find common cause against the Church with members of the Church.

    “And as for your presuppositions about Calvin on the sacraments, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    There are no presuppositions involved. Read more Calvin. I don’t have time to dig up the quotes right now. Luther was even harsher.

  413. TurretinFan said,

    December 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Dave H.:

    Do you seriously think that Augustine’s church had incense, crucifixes, statues, icons, and pipe organs in it? Yes, he’d recognize your worship practices, but not as his own!

    -TurretinFan

  414. michael said,

    December 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    David H.

    It’s been a fairly robust dialogue going on in here now and you seem to be the target! I hope you are up for the challenge with so many marksmen and shotgun handling sorts coming at you in here from various points of view shooting away at you?

    I aim to please and not disappoint.

    Although, my candlelight is not nearly as bright as some in here. Well, everyones in here as I am just a simple man and fairly ignorant of a lot of what is being discussed you and other Romanists making comments in here.

    Well, now, after that little rabbit trail, David H., you wrote:

    It is the opposite with your position.

    Hmmmm, Just what position might that be that you are so confident in saying that are one who is knowing it, that is, my position?

    Ironic isn’t it, in light of the charge against me that you have leveled, against me and some others in here discussing these things with you?

    You did write:

    you, unlike scripture, say “your trust in Christ is not genuine, you are going to hell”.

    Okay! Now what? Are you knowingly going to hell?

    I will be waiting for your kind response to that question.

    In the mean time, let me touch on something else you said above in response to me and others.

    I want to be clear as to your meaning because if I understood it correctly I would like to discuss it in here with you more carefully.

    You wrote:

    “Thankfully scripture does not teach that – nor do you have the power to look into a man’s soul and determine whether his trust in Christ is real.

    … So the church had to deal with that later… which brings us to Trent.

    … I certainly hope not to over simplify but the various councils and pronouncements of the Church, like scripture, need to be considered and understood in light of the whole (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church for this synthesis).

    You refer to the “Scripture in here when making comments.

    Because others can better make the distinction about what I want to understand about your understanding of the origins of Scripture, I will post from Dr. J.V. Fesko’s book, Justification, Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine P and R Publishing, on page 394 and use his words to ask you after reading them if you agree with his assessment about your faith in the origin of the Scriptures?

    He writes:

    … In fact, when one delves deeper into Eastern Orthodox hermeneutics, he finds that they are not as concerned with the literal meaning of the text as they are open to its spiritual interpretation. Eastern Orthodox hermeneutics bears some similarities to that of the Roman Catholic Church, in that both hold that the church produced the Scriptures rather than, as in the Protestant understanding, that the Scriptures produced the church.

    David H., do you agree with Dr. Fesko and me on that point?

    thanks

  415. David H. said,

    December 9, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Tfan,

    “the Nicene council members did not worship images, offer latria to the bread in the eucharist, or pray to Mary.”

    Of course they did not worship images. No Catholic does.

    “…or pray to Mary.”

    St. Athanasius (who was at the council):

    ‘Prayer to Mary, Mother of Grace

    It becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master who was born of you. For this reason, you are called full of grace. Remember us, most holy Virgin, and bestow on us gifts from the riches of your graces, Virgin full of graces.’

    How about the Eucharist?

    “”‘The great Athanasius in his sermon to the newly baptized says this:’ You shall see the Levites bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine. But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ. ‘And again:’ Let us approach the celebration of the mysteries. This bread and this wine, so long as the prayers and supplications have not taken place, remain simply what they are. But after the great prayers and holy supplications have been sent forth, the Word comes down into the bread and wine – and thus His Body is confected.”

    -”Sermon to the Newly Baptized” ante 373 A.D.

    Care to retract that statement?

    “They did not hold to a papalistic ecclesiology or – more significantly – soteriology (as per Unam Sanctam).”

    They held to both. The Council could not be ratified until the Bishop of Rome ratified it. That went for all Ecumenical Councils.

    As for soteriology of course they held the same soteriology. It is all there in it’s most basic form: Once Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and One baptism for the remission of sins. Unam Sanctam is completely structured around those two parts of the Creed (which go hand-in-hand, btw).

    “They did not have a system of indulgences and they had never heard of place called “Purgatory.”

    The prayed for the dead and performed penitial acts. Like “Trinity” in the Bible the word does not have to be the idea to be clear – which they are.

    “They did not teach the Immaculate Conception or the Bodily Assumption of Mary”.

    Both Eastern and Western Christianity both affirmed Mary’s sinlessnes – in fact it is implied in the prayer of St. Athanasius I quoted above. But it is explicit in several fathers. That Mary was without sin from conception was also a popular pious belief in those early centuries.

    “And – perhaps most significantly – they did not anathemetize justification through grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone, all to the glory of God alone, as Trent did – even if they did make all sorts of various errors in their theology.”

    Trent did not address that entire formula at all.

    How could they anathemetize a doctrine that did not exist in 325 A.D.?

    Trent affirms grace alone and Christ alone. In fact the Church can affirm faith alone as long as faith is understood in the biblical sense. That was the point of the anathemas on faith alone. It was addressing Luther’s truncated version of what faith meant. Not biblical faith (faith working in love).

  416. David H. said,

    December 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Tfan,

    “Do you seriously think that Augustine’s church had incense, crucifixes, statues, icons, and pipe organs in it? Yes, he’d recognize your worship practices, but not as his own!”

    You are right. His church had crackers and grape juice once a month that was open to everyone to receive. He had blank white walls in the “auditorium” where there were 66 books in their pew bibles. He wore a business suit when he preached his three point sermons. He adhered to the regulative principle (exclusive psalmody of course) and tossed out the candles his mother asked him to light for her every year.

    With the exception of the pipe organs he likely did have most of those things.

  417. D. T. King said,

    December 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    That is a pretty bold claim that is hard ot back up. What is certain is that Augustine and the pre-schism eastern church would most certainly recognize there Church in the Catholic Church (all 22 churches in communion with Rome).

    Note the cognitive dissonance – I said modern day Rome vs. the ancient church – and they are not the same. And for your information, there were plenty of schisms in the ancient church – Read Basil of Caesarea’s Preface on the Judgment of God (Oops, pardon me, he probably really didn’t mean what we thought he said). Schism among those churches began well before 1054, and they weren’t always simply east vs. west. But I do not expect a Romanist with a simplistic understanding of history to comprehend that, especially while laboring under the malady of cognitive dissonance.

    What is equally certain is that they would not only condemn Protestantism in all it’s forms as heresy and schism but they would not even recognize what it is if they walked into most protestant services… save for High Church Lutheranism and Anglicanism. It would be a foreign religion to them.

    Shall I hum “Beautiful Dreamer” for you, or shall I ask Tinkerbell to sprinkle some more fairy dust on your mind? :)

    You see, if we are indeed Christians, as you seem to have suggested previously, then you’ve given your whole apologetic away, and there’s no cause for us to regard you seriously. But if we are condemned heretics, given your description of us otherwise as such, then you need to start adhering to Florence’s and Trent’s views of us. But I think that your malady of cognitive dissonance is hindering you from deciding which approach you want to take, since all councils are, as your have suggested, are “time-conditioned” given their “specifics and contexts,” and who knows, according to your approach, what any of them even mean today. Nonetheless, there are some decisions one needs to make even while living in “never-never” land. :)

  418. Phil Derksen said,

    December 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I would expect Rev. king to eventually weigh in here, but even I, a mere Protestant layman, know that almost all of the sermons attributed to Athanasius, including the “Sermon to the Newly Baptized,” are known to almost certainly be spurious, and most likely of early medieval origin.

  419. David H. said,

    December 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    David:

    “Romanist with a simplistic understanding of history to comprehend that, especially while laboring under the malady of cognitive dissonance.”

    and

    “Shall I hum “Beautiful Dreamer” for you, or shall I ask Tinkerbell to sprinkle some more fairy dust on your mind?”

    You just cannot help yourself can you? Are you always so gratuitously insulting to people when you are face to face as well? Seriously, I don’t know if you think it is a virtue or if you are trying to emulate Luther at his more lively moments, but either way there is no need to act like a child. I am quite certain you would not speak to me in such a manner if we were sitting down face to face. Do you think you are honoring Christ when you do this?

    I am trying hard to have a respectful dialogue with you and we don’t need to be friends (I know you gotta keep your rep up) but it really makes it hard to take you seriously when you go into your gratuitous insult shtick.

  420. louis said,

    December 9, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Rome use a spurious document to substantiate their apostacy? Surely not.

  421. David H. said,

    December 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Phil,

    “I would expect Rev. king to eventually weigh in here, but even I, a mere Protestant layman, know that almost all of the sermons attributed to Athanasius, including the “Sermon to the Newly Baptized,” are known to almost certainly be spurious, and most likely of early medieval origin.”

    That is pretty convenient. Please offer some evidence. Of course you will then ahve to deal with the numerous other Fathers who taught the same thing. Was it some nefarious plan to undermine doctrines that did not come along for another 1200 years?

  422. Phil Derksen said,

    December 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    David H., you would be more credible if you would check your own ecclesiastical sources every once in a while, such as the good RC scholar Johannes Quasten, who simply notes:

    “The Benedictine editors declared dubious or spurious all of the sermons attributed to Athanasius.”

    Patrology: The golden age of Greek Patristic Literature, (Newman Press, 1960), 3:50

  423. D. T. King said,

    December 9, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Not quite, Mr. Derksen, but almost early medieval origin.

    I was going to let it pass, but it is nothing but a fragment of a sermon suggested to be that of Athanasius. It is found in PG 26:1324-1325. Even the Romanist Jurgens, in hisThe Faith of the Early Fathers Vol. 1 gives the fragment (and that’s all it is, a fragment) a questionable stamp of approval when he wrote…

    “The passage stands at the conclusion of Eutyches’ sermon (PG 86, 2401). There is no other evidence for a work of this title by Athanasius, and apparently this is the sole surviving fragment. It is impossible to speculate on the authenticity of the fragment, much less on the date of Athanasius’ sermon” (p. 345).

    The only evidence whatsoever for it being linked to Athanasius (298-373) is based on the word of a single individual, Eutyches, Patriarch of Constantinople (582 A.D.) two centuries after Athanasius.

    But Romanists are past masters in using Google to scan Romanist apologetic web sites, where it appears on so many of them. They could care less whether it’s authentic or not. If it serves the interests of mother Rome, post away. :)

  424. Phil Derksen said,

    December 9, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks Rev. King. I stand (partly) corrected.

  425. TurretinFan said,

    December 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    “With the exception of the pipe organs he likely did have most of those things”

    You really should read more!

    -TurretinFan

  426. michael said,

    December 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Hi David H.

    Has my brilliance baffled you speechless and comment less towards me?

  427. TurretinFan said,

    December 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    David H.:

    You wrote:

    You are right. His church had crackers and grape juice once a month that was open to everyone to receive. He had blank white walls in the “auditorium” where there were 66 books in their pew bibles. He wore a business suit when he preached his three point sermons. He adhered to the regulative principle (exclusive psalmody of course) and tossed out the candles his mother asked him to light for her every year.

    I wouldn’t expect that Augustine’s church would have pews at all, let along kneelers. It wouldn’t have had stained glass windows or holy water bowls for people to superstitiously moisten themselves.

    There would be lots of differences between Augustine’s church and both your church and my church. Augustine might be offended by both sets of changes – particularly since he seems to have had a naive view of what fraction of his worship practices were apostolic.

    But – as I said – the worshiping of images in your churches would be something he would recognize, just not as his own.

    He’d also recognize your claim that you’re not worshiping the images.

    Why have I said this? Please consider carefully the chief point I’m making. We had started to deal with the apparently better educated pagans — because the less educated are the ones who do the things about which these do not wish to be taken to task — so with the better educated ones, since they say to us, “You people also have your adorers of columns, and sometimes even of pictures.” And would to God that we didn’t have them, and may the Lord grant that we don’t go on having them! But all the same, this is not what the Church teaches you. I mean, which priest of theirs ever climbed into a pulpit and from there commanded the people not to adore idols, in the way that we, in Christ, publicly preach against the adoration of columns or of the stones of buildings in holy places, or even of pictures? On the contrary indeed, it was their very priests who used to turn to the idols and offer them victims for their congregations, and would still like to do so now.

    “We,” they say, “don’t adore images, but what is signified by the image.” I ask what images signify, I ask what the image of the sun signifies; nothing else but the sun, surely? For yes, perhaps the explanation of other images convey deeper, more hidden meanings. For the time being let’s leave these, and put them on one side to come back to shortly. The image of the sun, certainly, can only signify the sun, and that of the moon the moon, and that of Tellus the earth. So if they don’t adore what they see in the image, but what the image signifies, why, when they have the things signified by these images so familiarly before their very eyes, do they offer adoration to their images in stead of directly to them?

    – Augustine, Sermon 198, Sections 16-17

    - TurretinFan

  428. D. T. King said,

    December 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I am trying hard to have a respectful dialogue with you and we don’t need to be friends (I know you gotta keep your rep up) but it really makes it hard to take you seriously when you go into your gratuitous insult shtick.

    I don’t consider your caricatures respectful. It makes it difficult to take your seriously with all those caricatures like Protestants viewing Augustine as a “proto-Calvinist.” You are projecting your own Roman mindset on to us. You did the same thing with TF about when he referenced Augustine and church practices in his day. So, I suggest that you think on your ways. Until you deal meaningfully and seriously with objections, rather than responding with caricatures and straw men, you’ll get no respect from me. :)

  429. D. T. King said,

    December 9, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    And yes, I have no qualms insisting that you folks live in a dream world with your head in the sand.

  430. TurretinFan said,

    December 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    “St. Athanasius (who was at the council)”

    Athanasius was at the council, but he wasn’t the Alexandria representative. That was his boss and mentor, Alexander of Alexandria.

    As for the “Prayer to Mary, Mother of Grace,” I doubt that it is an authentic quotation. Although lots of websites employ it (and even a few books), good luck finding a real citation! The only citation I could find on short order was a secondary citation to a prayer book from the 1980′s. The ”Sermon to the Newly Baptized” is likewise spurious, as others have pointed out.

    You asked: “Care to retract that statement?”

    Not really, no.

    I had written: “They did not hold to a papalistic ecclesiology or – more significantly – soteriology (as per Unam Sanctam).”

    You responded: “They held to both.”

    No, they did not hold to either.

    You responded: “The Council could not be ratified until the Bishop of Rome ratified it.”

    You say that, but it would be better for you if they said that. They didn’t. The Emperor (who called the council) didn’t seem to think so, and the fathers comments themselves don’t suggest that they held such an idea.

    You responded: “That went for all Ecumenical Councils.”

    That’s the way Rome today defines things. But you won’t see Nicene fathers saying that – and that’s significant.

    You wrote: “As for soteriology of course they held the same soteriology.”

    No. They did not think communion with the Roman bishop was necessary for salvation.

    You wrote: “It is all there in it’s most basic form: Once Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and One baptism for the remission of sins. Unam Sanctam is completely structured around those two parts of the Creed (which go hand-in-hand, btw).”

    You’re pouring meaning into the creed, rather than looking to the authors of the creed to see what they meant.

    I had written: “They did not have a system of indulgences and they had never heard of place called “Purgatory.”

    You responded: “The prayed for the dead and performed penitial acts. Like “Trinity” in the Bible the word does not have to be the idea to be clear – which they are.”

    What is clear that they did not have a system of indulgences and did not know of a place called “Purgatory.” What is also clear is that you wish to pour your doctrines back into their practices, even when they don’t fit.

    I had written: “They did not teach the Immaculate Conception or the Bodily Assumption of Mary”.

    You wrote:

    Both Eastern and Western Christianity both affirmed Mary’s sinlessnes – in fact it is implied in the prayer of St. Athanasius I quoted above. [T-Fan note: the quote that all of Rome seems to quote, but no one seems to cite a source.] But it is explicit in several fathers. That Mary was without sin from conception was also a popular pious belief in those early centuries.

    I don’t know whether you don’t know the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, you think I don’t know it, or you just don’t care to actually address what I wrote. I commented on the Immaculate Conception, which is not the sinlessness of Mary from conception. It is the idea that Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin from the very moment of conception. It’s not about her actual sins, and it’s not simply about her sinlessness.

    I wrote: “And – perhaps most significantly – they did not anathemetize justification through grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone, all to the glory of God alone, as Trent did – even if they did make all sorts of various errors in their theology.”

    You wrote: “Trent did not address that entire formula at all.”

    You mean, I suppose, in so many words. What of it?

    You wrote: “How could they anathemetize a doctrine that did not exist in 325 A.D.?”

    a) Your question presumes something that you haven’t demonstrated – namely this idea that the doctrine found in Scripture of sola gratia, sola fide, sola christus, et sola deo groria was not in existence at Nicaea.

    b) But even if it were not, you should simply acknowledge that we are consistent in not condemning the fathers.

    You wrote: “Trent affirms grace alone and Christ alone.”

    a) No, Trent teaches cooperation with grace.

    b) No, Trent teaches Christ, Mary, and the saints.

    You wrote: “In fact the Church can affirm faith alone as long as faith is understood in the biblical sense.”

    a) If only what the Bible says were really what Rome cared about!

    b) But no, faith alone is explicitly condemned, although Benedict XVI today suggests that “sola fide” can be affirmed.

    You wrote: “That was the point of the anathemas on faith alone.”

    The point was to anathematize “faith alone.”

    You wrote: “It was addressing Luther’s truncated version of what faith meant. Not biblical faith (faith working in love).”

    If Faith = Faith working in love
    Then
    Faith = Faith working in love working in love
    And from that we can infer that
    Faith = Faith working in love working in love working in love

    That’s the problem with defining a term by itself.

    What’s worse, of course, is that the definition is an obvious attempt to say that
    [Romanist] Faith = [Biblical faith] + working in love

    In that definition, there’s no definition of the term by itself, but then we’re back to that “Lutheran” definition you so fear and Trent trembled at!

    -TurretinFan

  431. TurretinFan said,

    December 9, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I had written: “No, they did not formulate orthodoxy. Read their works. They obtained orthodoxy from the source of orthodoxy: Scripture.”

    You wrote: “It is both. Are you saying the Nicene Creed wasn’t formulated? Of course it was. Was scripture it’s source material? Of course. We agree.”

    The creed was formulated. It was an orthodox creed, though, not because they formulated it, but because it conformed to Scripture. Orthodoxy is the Truth. The fathers could not formulate the truth, they could only recognize it (or not!).

    You wrote: “And of course you must also agree with the Creed.”

    If the Creed agrees with Scripture, then of course I agree with the Creed. I’m not sure what you mean by “must.” There was nothing magical about Nicaea or Constantinople.

    You wrote: “How about the parts about being baptized for the remission of sins and the church being one, holy, Catholic and apostolic? Can you affirm them without pouring an entirely different meaning into them than the council fathers intended?”

    Of course.

    You wrote: “Would you ever use such wording if you were, in your view, writing a Biblical creed?”

    I have an additional nearly 1700 years of hindsight. With the aid of that hindsight, I can see how certain creedal articles could be misunderstood or abused, and how certain terms have become sadly associated in the popular mind with error (like “Catholic”).

    I had written: “Augustine did not believe the doctrines that Trent defined as de fide dogma – and Trent’s dogmas were not apostolic. So, the “could” in your statement seems misleading at best.”

    You replied: “Why don’t we both go back and read him. Because it is hard to believe, if one reads Augustine and then reads Trent, they would find him having a problem with it. Far more problematic is when Protestants think he was some sort of proto-Calvin. Now that is a misleading idea.”

    a) Those are not the two options – Romanist or Reformed Presbyterian. Augustine was neither of those.

    b) I’ve read a lot of Augustine, and I hope to read more. From what I’ve read, I think Augustine would view Trent as semi-Pelagian.

    You wrote: “So if you must embrace the reality that if you are right, then St. Augustine, Athansius and likely every one at Nicea and Chalcedon are in hell.”

    I responded: “That does not appear to follow.”

    You rejoined: “How so? Louis said one cannot knowingly adhere to Catholic doctrine and be a Christian. Even if we grant, which I do not, that the Fathers had some different beliefs than the modern RCC, it is those specific doctrines that most Protestants find damnable in Rome that the Fathers clealry hed without controversy. So an honest protestant, well read in the Fathers, who thinks Catholics are damned need to be consistent on this. I cannot see how it does not follow.”

    I’ve explained this in my previous comment.

    I had written: “But more important than that, we can build our churches on the one foundation that was laid, by going directly to the source of authority, Scripture, whenever there is any question. We could get by without the Reformers or the Fathers, but man lives by the Word of God – without it, we would perish. The Bible is our authority, whether we get help from the Reformers and fathers or not. It is the sine qua non of Christian orthodoxy in the post-apostolic era.”

    You replied: “Churches maybe but not The Church that Christ founded.”

    And the basis for your claim is … what?

    You wrote: “The one that scripture teaches is the pillar and foundation of truth – not scripture alone.”

    The churches’ role as “pillar and foundation of the truth,” is not contrasted in Scripture with “Scripture alone.” And read the text more carefully – you will see it relates to a church (one of “churches”) not “the Church” in the context in which it is written.

    You wrote: “The built on Peter the rock who was told to feed His sheep.”

    All pastors are called to feed Christ’s sheep, and all of us are lively stones. We are so called because we have the same faith Peter had, faith in the one whom Peter called the Rock, namely Christ. He is the head of the corner (not Peter).

    -TurretinFan

  432. TurretinFan said,

    December 10, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Tom Riello:

    You, earlier in this thread, recommended a linked article by one of the priests of your communion, Longenecker. Longenecker wrote:

    Protestants love to tell us how their religion is based on the ‘clear and simple reading of the Bible.’ “Oh yes!” they exclaim, “We just opened up the Bible and read what it said and suddenly it became clear that the Catholic Church was wrong and Evangelical Christianity was right!” Hogwash. They listened to someone who interpreted the Bible and told them what they thought it meant. In fact, they listened to people who regularly mis quote the Bible, take verses out of context, ignore uncomfortable passages and come up with the most amazingly convoluted explanations for texts that do not agree with their theology.

    I wonder why one sees this sort of reaction. Presumably it is because it is difficult to accept that the Scriptures could speak clearly to someone and show them that Rome’s religion is not the Apostolic faith.

    The fourth-century fathers (see longer discussion here), however, had quite similar things to say to the “Protestant” quoted in the article you linked.

    For example…

    Lactantius (260-330):

    For this is especially the cause why, with the wise and the learned, and the princes of this world, the sacred Scriptures are without credit, because the prophets spoke in common and simple language, as though they spoke to the people. And therefore they are despised by those who are willing to hear or read nothing except that which is polished and eloquent; nor is anything able to remain fixed in their minds, except that which charms their ears by a more soothing sound. But those things which appear humble are considered anile, foolish, and common. So entirely do they regard nothing as true, except that which is pleasant to the ear; nothing as credible, except that which can excite pleasure: no one estimates a subject by its truth, but by its embellishment. Therefore they do not believe the sacred writings, because they are without any pretense; but they do not even believe those who explain them, because they also are either altogether ignorant, or at any rate possessed of little learning.

    ANF: Vol. VII, The Divine Institutes, Book V, Chapter I.

    Hilary of Poitiers (c 315-67):

    In our reply we have followed Him to the moment of His glorious death, and taking one by one the statements of their unhallowed doctrine, we have refuted them from the teaching of the Gospels and the Apostle. But even after His glorious resurrection there are certain things which they have made bold to construe as proofs of the weakness of a lower nature, and to these we must now reply. Let us adopt once more our usual method of drawing out from the words themselves their true signification, that so we may discover the truth precisely where they think to overthrow it. For the Lord spoke in simple words for our instruction in the faith, and His words cannot need support or comment from foreign and irrelevant sayings.

    NPNF2: Vol. IX, On the Trinity, Book XI, §7.

    I understand that Longenecker is a popular priest and one of the few who seems to interact with the teachings of the Reformation on anything resembling a regular basis. Yet Longenecker finds himself not only opposed to the clear Scriptural teachings, but also to the fourth-century fathers who confirm that the Scriptures teach clearly.

    -TurretinFan

  433. David H. said,

    December 10, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Michael,

    I was not ignoring intentionally, but it is hard wading through all the responses with limited time. I will get to your post when I have more than a few minutes here and there.

  434. David H. said,

    December 10, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Tfan,

    “You really should read more!”

    We all should. So many book, so little time.

  435. Phil Derksen said,

    December 10, 2010 at 9:54 am

    FWIW from Wikipedia:

    “The Middle Ages (adjectival form: medieval or mediæval) was a period of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The period followed the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, and preceded the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period in a three-period division of history: Classic, Medieval, and Modern. The term “Middle Ages” (medium aevum) was coined in the 15th century and reflects the view that this period was a deviation from the path of classical learning, a path supposedly reconnected by Renaissance scholarship.”

    By this definition, insofar as the first reference to the pseudo-Athanasius sermon that was previously discussed is from the 6th century, then it might actually be said that it perhaps originated in the early medieval period.

  436. David H. said,

    December 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Michael,

    Here is my response as promised:

    “It’s been a fairly robust dialogue going on in here now and you seem to be the target! I hope you are up for the challenge with so many marksmen and shotgun handling sorts coming at you in here from various points of view shooting away at you?”

    Well I will give you, likely my final, response this 400+ thread. So you are my final challenge. ;-)

    “Although, my candlelight is not nearly as bright as some in here. Well, everyones in here as I am just a simple man and fairly ignorant of a lot of what is being discussed you and other Romanists making comments in here.”

    Don’t sell yourself short. Plenty of people on here have shown themselves ignorant (I am kidding!).

    “Well, now, after that little rabbit trail, David H., you wrote:

    It is the opposite with your position.

    Hmmmm, Just what position might that be that you are so confident in saying that are one who is knowing it, that is, my position?”

    As I recall it was in reference to the darkened soul comment.

    “Ironic isn’t it, in light of the charge against me that you have leveled, against me and some others in here discussing these things with you?

    You did write:

    you, unlike scripture, say “your trust in Christ is not genuine, you are going to hell”.

    Okay! Now what? Are you knowingly going to hell?

    I will be waiting for your kind response to that question.”

    I don’t understand the question. Could you explain? I am sure I am just being thick but I just don’t understand what you are asking me.

    “Because others can better make the distinction about what I want to understand about your understanding of the origins of Scripture, I will post from Dr. J.V. Fesko’s book, Justification, Understanding the Classic Reformed Doctrine P and R Publishing, on page 394 and use his words to ask you after reading them if you agree with his assessment about your faith in the origin of the Scriptures?

    He writes:

    … In fact, when one delves deeper into Eastern Orthodox hermeneutics, he finds that they are not as concerned with the literal meaning of the text as they are open to its spiritual interpretation. Eastern Orthodox hermeneutics bears some similarities to that of the Roman Catholic Church, in that both hold that the church produced the Scriptures rather than, as in the Protestant understanding, that the Scriptures produced the church.

    David H., do you agree with Dr. Fesko and me on that point?”

    I do not not. He oversimplifies in the same way that some Catholic apologists tend to do.

    let me start by saying I don’t think many Protestant scholars would agree with Dr. Fesko that scripture produced the church.

    God is the one who produced scripture, through men, for the Church. Were those men in the church? Yes. But it is misleading to say the Church produced the scriptures without qualification. The scriptures however were created for the Church and it belongs to the Church and is to be understood by the Church. The Church did, however, give us the canon of Scripture. It did not merely recognize, it infallibly cemented it. If it did no there is no way of knowing whether any of us has a completed or accurate canon. At best we have to rely on some fideistic approach.

  437. michael said,

    December 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    David H.

    Would you say you are knowingly going to hell when you die?

    Or, rather, do you, as you put it using your terms, fideisticly approach your natural death with full confidence you are not? Upon what basis do you conclude what I hope your response will reflect?

    Of all else responded too, from my comments above, you wrote this:

    The Church did, however, give us the canon of Scripture.

    Oh, on the contrary! Don’t you accept the Spirit’s record of the origins of the Scriptures we put our full faith and credit in?

    2Ti 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it
    2Ti 3:15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
    2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
    2Ti 3:17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

    2Pe 1:21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

    I would like to unpack those verses with comments on other verses in light of your final words, here reproduced:

    At best we have to rely on some fideistic approach.

    What’s your point with that sentence, then, David H.?

    I have come to understand this about that.

    First, I would note these Words, now canonized as Scripture too:

    Act 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,

    Here’s a man of reason and reasoned practice on his way “to do The Church in” in Damascus as he had done to others also in other places all the while thinking he was serving God! Oooops!

    Do you realize what Jesus was saying to Paul? He said and because of that, Paul, throughout his lifetime thereafter realized just how reason and His Faith delivered to the Saints works together. Jesus said: to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,

    Was Paul living by that Faith before that event in his life or by a reasoned fideistic approach working the Law of Righteousness out through his life? Maybe a little in that only a fool believes in his heart there is no God. However, Paul was fully on board to convince his authorities who sent him out with warrants of authority to have others arrested and killed, those who were fully living by the Faith once delivered to the Saints that living by the works of righteousness is God’s way to keep you out of hell escaping the Wrath of God when you pass out of this temporal world into eternity.

    I make no warrant for pious living! It seems with your faith, pious living is what it is that keeps you out of the lake of fire?

    Now, consider some more from the understandings of writings of Paul the Apostle.

    He wrote this to his developing, maturing disciples in Philippi:

    Php 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

    He certainly believed that the God of Peace would be with those who received his Apostolic authority granted to him to carry out God’s eternal purpose. The God of Peace will certainly be with us too if by His Faith we learn from Paul’s writings.

    He intimated something similar to the Ephesian Elders, here, when he gave this commendation to them:

    Act 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

    Now, as for sound reasonings. Consider that both Apostles, Paul and Peter, were mindful of sound reasoning when we learn how they use a particular Greek Word when writing to their disciples. It is used twice in the New Testament, once by Paul and once by Peter.

    The Greek Word is:

    λογικός
    logikos
    log-ik-os’
    From G3056; rational (“logical”): – reasonable, of the word.

    You can find that Greek word in use here and here:

    Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

    1Pe 2:2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation–

    Now, with a reasoned approach in this life under the influences of the Spirit of Grace and Truth, we can possibly understand what Jesus was foretelling John on the Island of Patmos, also similar to what He was saying to Paul in Acts 26, here about living and walking by Faith and not circumstances:

    Rev 1:19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.

    Like Paul, when Jesus told him to stand up and understand that living by Faith takes both sound reason in the Truth, or a sound mind, it also requires we live by Trust in the substance of things “hoped” for by reason of the Word of God in the certain evidence of things “not” seen understood when reading the Sacred Scriptures, while living and conforming to God’s Will daily without God having to produce signs or miracles to us before we believe the Gospel and come into obedience to the Faith and are saved from certain wrath in the lake of fire prepared for Satan and his angels and all those who die in their sins, those whose name is not found written in the Book of Life.

    I am sure Paul, Peter and John all reasoned with these Old Sacred Writings of their Faith as Jews and believing they were God’s selected Promise Land people of the Law of Righteousness:

    Psa 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.

    Psa 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

    Pro 1:22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
    Pro 1:23 If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.

    Pro 16:20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

    At best, we can repent and receive the forgiveness of sins according to the message of Truth, the Gospel, which Jesus reiterated, here and that we are called to follow in our daily lives:

    Luk 24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
    Luk 24:46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
    Luk 24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
    Luk 24:48 You are witnesses of these things.
    Luk 24:49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

  438. December 11, 2010 at 8:51 am

    [...] by the remarks of an anti-Catholic, who offers a snippet from the Council of Florence’s Cantata Domino, an opinion about Trent, and an erroneous [...]

  439. David H said,

    December 12, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Michael,

    You asked:

    “Would you say you are knowingly going to hell when you die?”

    No. Of course not. I know who my Savior is.

    “Or, rather, do you, as you put it using your terms, fideisticly approach your natural death with full confidence you are not?”

    I was using fideistic in a very different context so I leave that aside.

    I have full confidence in my Savior and his mercy, which I have received, continue to receive and I that I will receive when this life is over for me. He is my present a future hope. But I try to stay away from the sin of presumption because what I don’t have full confidence in myself. But I do trust in Him and his mercy. But I am striving to work out my salvation with fear and trembling because scripture is clear that apostasy exists. However, I am confident of better things but not of the perfection of my faith. That is why receiving the grace of the sacraments is so beautiful. In them we receive His gratuitous, unmerited grace.

    “Upon what basis do you conclude what I hope your response will reflect?”

    I am not sure I understand the question. But I will tell you I base it on the teachings of Christ, the apostles and the apostles successors.

    Regarding 2 Timothy 3:

    Me: The Church did, however, give us the canon of Scripture.

    “Oh, on the contrary! Don’t you accept the Spirit’s record of the origins of the Scriptures we put our full faith and credit in?”

    The verses you quote in no way address how the canon was given to us. It does not say that scripture is the 66 books in the Protestant Bible or the complete Bible that the Church uses. It is referring to the OT scriptures. So if we are to read this verse in the same way you are then all we need is the Old Testament.


    2Pe 1:21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

    Amen. Now Here is the verse immediately preceding it. Verse 20:

    First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation

    You quoting me: At best we have to rely on some fideistic approach.

    “What’s your point with that sentence, then, David H.?”

    The point is that for a Protestant to accept that the 66 books of the Bible they accept are THE Scriptures they have to take it as a matter of faith independent of reason. There is absolutely no reason, historically, theologically and ecclesiologically for the Protestant canon to be accepted as the Word of God alone because Protestants reject the Church that infallibly determined which books were a part of the canon and which were not. Protestants take it on faith while ignoring or trying (and failing) to explain away how the canon came to be.

    “I make no warrant for pious living! It seems with your faith, pious living is what it is that keeps you out of the lake of fire?”

    The just shall live by faith. Christ’s atoning death and resurrection is what will keep me out of the lake of fire. If you believe that is Catholic teaching you really should read Catholic sources, like the Catechism, if you want to know what Catholics actually believe and not protestant polemicists. I don’t rely on anti-Protestants to tell me what Protestants believe, I rely on Protestants. But if we are to take scripture seriously, especially if you say it is you sole rule of faith then we should take seriously this scripture:

    James 2:20-24:

    Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

    You see Michael, Catholics believe, as scripture teaches that faith is completed by our works. Not works of the law, but those done in Christ, by grace alone. When we do good it is Christ doing good through us. It is not us earning our salvation. Jesus did that for us. We believe that. But true saving faith is faith working through love. Not faith alone. In faith the only time “faith alone” is used in scripture is in verse 24: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” So protestants foundational doctrine is not only not is scripture but it is explicitly denied by scripture. But that does not mean Catholics believe we can work our way into Heaven. Does piety have it’s place? Read the Sermon on the Mount and let Jesus tell you, not some systematic theologian.

    Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

    It is interesting that you quote this verse after your previous comment on piety.

    I am sure we both agree with the psalmist that blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. But in trusting Him we must also remember that the Apostles were commissioned by Him to also teach them to obey all He commanded them. One thing I did notice that is different from my Protestant days is that back then we all put much more stock in the Epistles, particularly of Paul because it was believed that his was the didactic unpacking of Jesus teaching in the Gospels. Ironically, James is the closest to doing this and it is the teachings of Jesus (that are mostly repeated in James) that are largely ignored or dismissed in the Protestant world. In fact my encouragement to you as Christmas approaches, Michael, is to read through all 4 Gospels and meditate on Jesus teachings.

    Have a blessed Christmas.

    David

  440. steve hays said,

    December 12, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    David H said,

    “The point is that for a Protestant to accept that the 66 books of the Bible they accept are THE Scriptures they have to take it as a matter of faith independent of reason. There is absolutely no reason, historically, theologically and ecclesiologically for the Protestant canon to be accepted as the Word of God alone because Protestants reject the Church that infallibly determined which books were a part of the canon and which were not. Protestants take it on faith while ignoring or trying (and failing) to explain away how the canon came to be.”

    That comment doesn’t reflect well on your integrity, or rather, lack thereof. That comment comes on the heels of detailed explanations to the contrary. But you’re a dishonest man who’s found his home is a dishonest denomination. It’s a perfect fit.

  441. D. T. King said,

    December 12, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I am going to comment on only one item, and it pretty much sums up the behavior of M. H. here.

    David H. asserts yet again: There is absolutely no reason, historically, theologically and ecclesiologically for the Protestant canon to be accepted as the Word of God alone because Protestants reject the Church that infallibly determined which books were a part of the canon and which were not. Protestants take it on faith while ignoring or trying (and failing) to explain away how the canon came to be.

    After being corrected time and time again, this lie (and that’s what it is at this point, because he has been corrected repeatedly in this thread) is gratuitously asserted. To be sure, Romanists ought to be ashamed, but they are not. These folk behave incorrigibly.

  442. David H said,

    December 12, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    “That comment doesn’t reflect well on your integrity, or rather, lack thereof. That comment comes on the heels of detailed explanations to the contrary. But you’re a dishonest man who’s found his home is a dishonest denomination. It’s a perfect fit.”

    Name calling in lieu of an argument. That is all you are offering here, Steve. I have read entire books on the subject from the Reformed perspective and that is how I see it. It is one of the reasons I left sectarianism because the arguments did not stand up. Disagree if you like but please don’t accuse me or the church of dishonesty unless you are ready to offer evidence. Calumny is a sin.

  443. David H said,

    December 12, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Mr. King,

    “After being corrected time and time again, this lie (and that’s what it is at this point, because he has been corrected repeatedly in this thread) is gratuitously asserted. To be sure, Romanists ought to be ashamed, but they are not. These folk behave incorrigibly.”

    As I said to Mr. Hays, calumny is a sin. What is shameful is pretending you have satisfactorily dealt with the canon question. You have not. If you have not already you really should read this: http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/01/the-canon-question/

    Prove yourself teachable.

  444. David H said,

    December 12, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    One last thing, Steve and David.

    No one has answered the authority question regarding the canon. And no one answered how modern protestants could come up with a canon if they had to do so if there was currently no canon. Who would you appeal to as the authority? Would the PCA agree with the OPC or SBC? How about the Methodists? Would they be included? Would Esther, James and Revelations make it in? Who would be the authority?

    If you actually think these issues through honestly, instead of simply defining yourself again the Catholic Church and struggling to justify inexplicable positions then you will prove you love the truth even if it means you may have gotten some things wrong.

  445. steve hays said,

    December 12, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    David H said,

    “If you have not already you really should read this: http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2010/01/the-canon-question/

    Prove yourself teachable.”

    I’ll have more to say later, but this certainly illustrates your standards of scholarship, or the lack thereof. Brown claims that “The answers to the Canon Question that I describe here are comprehensive of the Protestant positions, although not exhaustive.”

    I suppose that 149 footnotes might create the illusion of comprehensiveness. But if you actually scroll through the footnotes, it’s overwhelmingly the same four books–by Bruce, Calvin, Harris, & Ridderbos.

    That’s about as well researched as a junior high school term paper.

  446. D. T. King said,

    December 12, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    As I said to Mr. Hays, calumny is a sin.

    As I noted, Mr. H., Lying is a sin, and you, sir, are shameless in yours. You can deny all the historical data that’s been posted here, with respect to the canon, with a dismissive wave of your hand. But all you have done is to commit the same sin which you confessed before all here previously, with this lie of yours, and for which you offered me an apology earlier. Romanists have nothing more than “name it/claim it” faith claim for infallibility. When they are refuted, they simply return to “name it/claim it.” They know that this is one of the issues, on which their whole apologetic for the canon was created and hangs, and it is transparently self-serving. I’m as impressed with this as I was with Mr. Marshall’s applause for his own nonsense…

    At this point, I’d like to interrupt the post with a loud:
    “boom-shaka-laka!” http://cantuar.blogspot.com/2010/01/ancient-church-of-rome-was-ruled-by.html

    That’s the goofy crowd with whom you’ve chosen to associate. :)

  447. TurretinFan said,

    December 12, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    “It is one of the reasons I left sectarianism because the arguments did not stand up.”

    You sought to leave “Sectarianism” by joining one of the most sectarian of all sects – a sect with cult-like sectarian qualities, whose official position on salvation includes the idea that it is “absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

    You may really think you left sectarianism – but you failed.

    - TurretinFan

  448. TurretinFan said,

    December 12, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    For evidence of your church’s dishonesty, I offer two very different illustrations:

    1) the example of the Irish sex abuse scandal; and

    2) the donation of Constantine.

    - TurretinFan

  449. Ron said,

    December 12, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    “The point is that for a Protestant to accept that the 66 books of the Bible they accept are THE Scriptures they have to take it as a matter of faith independent of reason.

    Our “faith”, whatever that means to you, that the church received the canon is based upon our knowledge that the church would receive the canon. Our knowledge that the church would receive the canon is based upon our knowledge that the head of the church said he would build his church upon the Word.

    As for the Romanist bible, the “hidden books” were not received as part of the foundation of the church. That they were not received by the early church proves them not to be part of the foundation of the early church. Not being part of the foundation of the church proves them not to worthy of being considered God’s word.

    “There is absolutely no reason, historically, theologically and ecclesiologically for the Protestant canon to be accepted as the Word of God alone because Protestants reject the Church that infallibly determined which books were a part of the canon and which were not.”

    If by infallibility you mean that the church could not but receive the canon aright, then you are not talking about infallibility at all lest a child who is ordained to choose the right answer should be considered infallible. So, David H., what distinction are your trying to tease out? If there is a relevant distinction you would like to make, then please explain why the church must be infallible in order to receive what God promised? Why can’t God’s promise come to pass through ordinary providence?

    Protestants take it on faith while ignoring or trying (and failing) to explain away how the canon came to be.”

    The canon “came to be” because “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” The “how” we’re to be discussing pertains not to the question of how the “canon came to be” but how it came to be received, which has been answered and yet to be refuted.

    Ron

  450. BSuden said,

    December 12, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    In reply to 438 and the link to Notes on Trent and Florence from Acquinas Etc., brash assertions are just that, however elegantly stated.

    Further to the contrary we note that:

    1. It is a non sequitur that necessarily someone who hates Rome cannot be a fair critic of it.

    2. That the Roman church asserts – as does the Federal Vision – that water baptism makes one a Christian is not only unproven from Scripture, but immaterial to the argument at hand, as well that reformed confessional protestantism denies baptismal regeneration.

    3. That while the Roman Church’s “opinion” of Protestant “errors” supposedly has not changed, the anathemas of Trent are not applicable to contemporary Protestants because:

    . . . the canon law of the Catholic Church doesn’t apply to non-Catholics. But most Protestants today were never members of the Catholic Church. Consequently they have never been bound by Catholic canon law in any way.

    Translation: So the Council on Trent’s curse of anathema and verdict of damnation upon the gospel of justification by faith alone in Christ alone – the sine qua non of protestantism, that without which there is none – does not apply to today’s Protestants.

    4. Yet this all harmonizes with the Cantata Domine of the Council of Florence that all those “not living within the Catholic Church” whether “pagans . . . Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life”.

    Conclusion: But Protestants are not living within the Catholic Church, much more can be considered heretics, if not schismatics – particularly the last if they don’t have to be rebaptized upon formally joining the Roman church according to the Cantata Domine, all special pleading to the contrary.

    Therefore Protestants are not saved nor can a Roman Catholic call them a brother in Christ, the last proposition, of which all the here-to-for by Acquinas is in explicit defense, however garbled.

    Further, not to be disagreeable, but in contrast to allusions to Peter Pan and James Thurber, for our money we are inclined to throw in with the His Most High and Eminent Holiness, the Most Pious and Reverent Humpty Dumpty of which the more than oral tradition tells us that once upon a time he said:

    When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.

    Exactly.

    But we jest, even perhaps inappropriately, despite the plain admonition of Prov. 26:5: “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit”, in that six times the NT quotes or alludes to Is. 6:9-10 (cf. Matt.13:15, Mk.4:12, Lk.8:10, Jn. 12:40, Act 28:27, Rom. 11:8):

    And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

    What else can we conclude, but that Acquinas has thoroughly trampled on his God given light of natural reason Jn. 1:9 and suppressed the truth in unrighteousness Rom. 1:18.

    Thank you.

  451. BSuden said,

    December 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    FWIW The Canon Of The New Testament by Roger Nicole, who just died last week at 95. Chapt. VII should be of some interest in light of the discussion.

  452. BSuden said,

    December 12, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I’m as impressed with this as I was with Mr. Marshall’s applause for his own nonsense…

    My question still is: when is my free copy of TMarshall’s little tome, hot off the vanitypress, going to show up in the snailmailbox?

    Or does the CtC Puffball Allstars discriminate against nonseminarians? How about reformed ministers and journals? This is not a case of roman catholic chickenhawks preying on young and impressionable minds? Of course not.

    And don’t start in on “liturgical lesbianism”. I know Rome doesn’t ordain women, but when it comes to sodomites in the priesthood, that is not a problem as Ray K nailed over on the JJ and deaconessses’s thread.

    Again, it’s hard to read a real pageturner when the Look Inside feature at Amazon doesn’t show very many, but I will still wait very patiently for my very own review copy.

    Thanks in advance.

  453. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Steve,

    Did you actually read the article? Or were you merely looking for a way to dismiss and discredit by mocking his footnotes? The latter is what your post seems to suggest.

    Why don’t you take the time to actually read it and then challenge his actual arguments?

  454. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:23 am

    David H.,

    Whenever you feel up to it, why don’t you deal with post 449.

    As has been noted already, the Roman apologist needs to avoid the divine intent at all cost – for as soon as he acknowledges Christ Jesus’ intent to build His church “at least in part” on Scripture, he is then constrained to show why God’s intent could not have come to pass without an infallible magisterium (according to the same divine providence by which the rest of the eternal decree comes to pass). Since Romanists cannot possibly succeed in showing that God could not bring to pass the reception of the canon without an infallible magisterium, they are left no other choice (short of becoming Protestant on this matter) than to bring into question the divine intent! All your leader Bryan Cross has done is argue by false-disjunction by introducing non-mutually exclusive premises as if such could negate the promise of building the church “at least in part” on the canon. These Red Herring premises, as put forth by Cross, are that God would bring to pass the reception of the apostolic oral tradition, and establish a succession of infallible bishops, neither of which however undermine the divine intent to bring to pass the reception of the canon for the establishment of the NT church! Yet even allowing for those wild and unjustified premises, the Romanist still cannot with any valid argumentation, that is, undermine the divine intent to bring to pass the reception of the canon by the church, which presuppose the necessity of bringing to pass the reception of the canon.

    At the end of the day the Romanist with the Satan can only say, “Has God said?”

  455. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Ron said,

    “If there is a relevant distinction you would like to make, then please explain why the church must be infallible in order to receive what God promised? Why can’t God’s promise come to pass through ordinary providence?”

    I’d like to expand on Ron’s statement with a concrete illustration. Take the way Abraham finds a wife for Isaac (Gen 24).

    There’s nothing especially miraculous about the procedure. To begin with, Abraham sends his servant. His servant offers a prayer, asking for a sign. However, there’s nothing spectacular or unnatural about the sign. The sign would simply be a case of opportune timing.

    Indeed, there’s a sense in which Abraham’s servant uses a highly unreliable method to find the right wife for Isaac. Normally, praying for a divine sign, then assuming that whatever happens must be an answer to prayer, is asking for trouble.

    Yet in terms of narrative theology, God uses these mundane, fallible means to guide the servant to the right wife.

    This is a limiting case of how God can achieve his appointed end through ordinary means.

  456. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Ron,

    “Our “faith”, whatever that means to you, that the church received the canon is based upon our knowledge that the church would receive the canon. Our knowledge that the church would receive the canon is based upon our knowledge that the head of the church said he would build his church upon the Word.”

    And where did that knowledge come from, Ron? If you did not yet have a canon how did you know this? From the Bible? Isn’t this just begging the same question? Plus Jesus did not say He would build his church on a canon that was first set some 300 years later. Actually, He said to Peter upons this Rock I will build my church.

    “As for the Romanist bible, the “hidden books” were not received as part of the foundation of the church. That they were not received by the early church proves them not to be part of the foundation of the early church. Not being part of the foundation of the church proves them not to worthy of being considered God’s word.”

    This just shows you do not know your history. Since the early church did indeed use the deuterocanonicals as scripture and the earliest councils affirmed this. At best you can say that Jerome at first objected but then did not and notably submitted to the authority of the Pope. And certainly they were not the only books that were questioned. James, Hebrews, Revelations and a few others were as well. Did Luther’s concerns about those books make you question them?

    Me: “There is absolutely no reason, historically, theologically and ecclesiologically for the Protestant canon to be accepted as the Word of God alone because Protestants reject the Church that infallibly determined which books were a part of the canon and which were not.”

    You: “If by infallibility you mean that the church could not but receive the canon aright, then you are not talking about infallibility at all lest a child who is ordained to choose the right answer should be considered infallible. So, David H., what distinction are your trying to tease out? If there is a relevant distinction you would like to make, then please explain why the church must be infallible in order to receive what God promised? Why can’t God’s promise come to pass through ordinary providence?”

    You are asking the wrong questions, Ron. There is no getting around the fact that the faithful accepted the canon based on the authority of the Church in council who told them what the canon was. Of course they received it, but in the context of a known, universal church. It was not the lay faithful individually determining if the council was right. Those that did challeneg the church were always heretics as history also shows (Arians etc.)

    And how did the faithful in 215 AD know what God promised? They certainly did not all use a complete canon that was universally accepted. We can never say we got the scriptures a certain because scripture teaches us that we would. How does that work?

    Me: “Protestants take it on faith while ignoring or trying (and failing) to explain away how the canon came to be.”

    You: “The canon “came to be” because “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” The “how” we’re to be discussing pertains not to the question of how the “canon came to be” but how it came to be received, which has been answered and yet to be refuted.”

    You are confusing how scripture came to be with how the canon came to be. The Canon did not fall in our laps. The church had to do serious work and then she had to make a determination, that unless infallible, leaves us uncertain. So nothing I actually argued has been refuted.

    If you trust scripture as the sole binding authority then you cannon trust later men who did not write scripture to tell you what scripture is. Why? Because scripture does not say that in the future God will infallibly move men to gather the accurate canon. So we have na endless spiral of circular reasoning and question begging that never answers the basic question. How do you know for certain that the 66 books of scripture you have is really the only inerent Word of God? A Catholic can answer this question very simply and in a way that is historically accurate. God moved the Church to infallibly codify the canon. How can a fallible church give us an infallible canon? What use is such a church? How can such a fallible institution (in matters of faith) bind your conscience regarding the canon? Because you do rely on this church as long as you accept the Bible.

  457. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:31 am

    David H said,
    “The point is that for a Protestant to accept that the 66 books of the Bible they accept are THE Scriptures they have to take it as a matter of faith independent of reason. There is absolutely no reason, historically, theologically and ecclesiologically for the Protestant canon to be accepted as the Word of God alone because Protestants reject the Church that infallibly determined which books were a part of the canon and which were not. Protestants take it on faith while ignoring or trying (and failing) to explain away how the canon came to be.”

    “Name calling in lieu of an argument. That is all you are offering here, Steve. I have read entire books on the subject from the Reformed perspective and that is how I see it. It is one of the reasons I left sectarianism because the arguments did not stand up. Disagree if you like but please don’t accuse me or the church of dishonesty unless you are ready to offer evidence. Calumny is a sin.”

    Notice that in his initial statement, which I quoted, David doesn’t present an argument. He simply makes a string of tendentious assertions.

    As for “calumny,” notice the dishonesty of his claim. Observe the blatant false dichotomy:

    i) If Protestants reject ecclesiastical infallibility,

    then,

    ii) Protestants have “absolutely no reason” to accept the 66-book canon. They “take it on faith, independent of reason.”

    How does the conclusion even begin to follow from the premise? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Protestants have no infallible grounds for their 66-book canon.

    Does it follow that if you lack infallible grounds for what you believe, that you have absolutely no reason for what you believe? If you lack infallible grounds for what you believe, is what you believe something you take on faith, independent of reason?

    Is that an honest inference? No. That’s not even close arguing in good faith. It’s pure demagoguery.

    Everyday we form beliefs for which we lack infallible grounds. And some of these beliefs are quite momentous. Who should I marry? Should I take quit my job?

    Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that David’s denomination is infallible. Does it follow that if the Roman church is infallible, then David’s reason for believing the Roman church is likewise infallible?

    No. David has fallible reasons for belonging to the church of Rome. Therefore, by David’s own yardstick, he has “absolutely no reason” to be Roman Catholic. His conversion to Rome is “independent of reason.”

    For as David as framed the issue, anything short of an “infallible reason” is “no reason” at all.

    Once again, let’s suppose (ex hypothesi) that Protestants lack infallible reasons for affirming the 66-book canon. Does this mean their canon has absolutely no basis in reason? How does that follow?

    What if Protestants affirm a 66-book canon because the best available evidence points to a 66-book canon? Even if (arguendo) they could be mistaken about the exact composition of the canon, it would by no means follow that their canon is unreasonable. Their canon could be eminently reasonable, given the state of the evidence. Indeed, it would be profoundly irrational to disregard the concrete evidence in favor of a purely hypothetical, best-case scenario.

    I’ll have more to say. I’m dealing with one issue at a time.

  458. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Steve,

    I get your point (#455), but how could you possibly apply that to the collection of books that you put all of your faith in. It seems to be an enormous leap of faith given that scripture itself gives you no reason to hav such faith in the canon you accept. If there was nothing miraculous, spectacular (supernatural) in the process then you can have no confidence that these 66 books are all you need. Of course they used reason, but there are still books in the canon that do not meet ordinary or rational criteria. Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John should all be highly suspect to you if there was no supernatural authority vested in the Church that determined the canon.

  459. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Steve,

    #458

    You would not even have the ability ot come up with a canon based on Protestant ecclesiology! There is no one, united Protestant Church. There are dozens (I am being generous here). The model you live under could not even call an ecumenical council to begin with. At the end of the day you rely on the councils of the Catholic Church ot give you your canon! Do you see the irony in all this?

    If your ecclesiology is right then the way the canon came to be would never have happened in the first place. If we go back to the beginning there is no way a Protestant can rightly claim that even a canon arrived at based on mere human reason alone could have been arrived at under a Protestant structure. Why? Because you have hundreds of completing and disagreeing churches. You would have dozens of competing canons. How can you dismiss such an obvious reality?

  460. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:47 am

    “The model you live under could not even call an ecumenical council to begin with.”

    You don’t need an ecumenical council in order to recognize the canon of Scripture. I don’t know why folks in the Roman communion make this dumb argument. Don’t they know their own church history?

    -TurretinFan

  461. Ryan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 11:07 am

    David H.

    “There is no one, united Protestant Church. There are dozens (I am being generous here).”

    What makes a Protestant a Protestant if there is no principle of unity? Your assertions are self-defeating.

  462. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 11:19 am

    David H said,

    “No one has answered the authority question regarding the canon. And no one answered how modern protestants could come up with a canon if they had to do so if there was currently no canon. Who would you appeal to as the authority?”

    If David had a modicum of prudence, he’d first do a preliminary background check to see if I had a paper trail on these issues. If he’d taken that precautionary measure, he could have avoided the embarrassment to his personal reputation.

    I’ve repeatedly discussed the canon question. I’ve repeatedly discussed the authority question. I’ve provided reams of argumentation and documentation.

    Fact is, I’m pretty well-known in Catholic internet circles.

    It would be easy for me to post dozens of links to material I’ve written.

    “Did you actually read the article?”

    I read it when it first came out.

    “Why don’t you take the time to actually read it and then challenge his actual arguments?”

    i) To begin with, I’m under no obligation to rebut the arguments of this or that miscellaneous self-appointed lay Catholic epologist when I evaluate the claims of Rome. Tom doesn’t speak for the church of Rome. He has no institutional standing. He’s not the pope. Not the Prefect of the CDF. Not a bishop. Not a priest. Not a Catholic theologian.

    It’s hardly incumbent on me to judge Roman Catholicism by a guy who’s not, in any sense, an authorized representative of Roman Catholicism. He belongs to a hierarchical institution, yet he has no position in the command structure.

    ii) I reserve the right to pick and choose which lay Catholic epologists to respond to, for the Catholic church gives me that right.

    In terms of time management priorities, I often prefer to focus on higher profile epologists. Or epologists with more intellectual heft.

    I respond here, not because you or Sean are oh-so distinguished, but because Green Baggins draws a large audience.

    iii) Finally, Tom’s treatment is simply irrelevant to my argument, for Tom isn’t dealing with my argument.

  463. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 11:27 am

    David’s confidence is in direct proportion to his ignorance. He doesn’t betray any direct knowledge of how, in fact, I go about making a case for the canon–although that material is in the public domain, and readily available.

    Instead, David operates with a generic caricature of the Protestant position, which he then imputes to each and every Protestant interlocuter.

  464. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 11:42 am

    And where did that knowledge come from, Ron? If you did not yet have a canon how did you know this? From the Bible?

    Let me change your words around a bit. “And where did that knowledge come from, Ron? If you did not yet have God’s word how did you know this? From God’s Word?

    Bingo. I got that knowledge directly from God – from God’s word. You see, David H., Protestants believe God’s word is clear and we also believe that God’s word did not become God’s word upon it being received as God’s word. We believe that Ephesians two came with the authority of God prior to a pope saying so. So then, God himself, on his authority alone, revealed to the church that she would receive the word for the foundation of the church. You have a problem with that, but you have given no reason why we shouldn’t take God at his word. It’s interesting how similar Rome’s tactics are with the Satan’s. “Has God said?”

    There is no getting around the fact that the faithful accepted the canon based on the authority of the Church in council who told them what the canon was.

    You really don’t know what the debate is all about do you? It’s irrelevant whether the “faithful” accepted the canon based upon a presumed authority of the church, which you don’t know to be the case by the way. In passing we might ask on what authority the church accepted the canon (certainly not on their own authority) but even that is irrelevant to the discussion. We’ll wait for you to catch up to the discussion, which has to do with why was an infallible church (whatever that might mean to you) a necessary condition for the reception of the canon and the knowledge of that reception.

    Ron

  465. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 11:49 am

    David H. said,

    “Of course they used reason, but there are still books in the canon that do not meet ordinary or rational criteria. Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John should all be highly suspect to you if there was no supernatural authority vested in the Church that determined the canon.”

    Notice how the assertions get louder in the pin-drop silence of the nonexistent supporting arguments.

  466. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Steve,

    It is hard to take you seriously, when you resort to dismissal in lieu of an actual argument. We can all yell “you are making an assertion!” Well, yeah. We are all asserting something.

    The standard criteria used to come up with the canon that Protestants rely on, including an earlier link by BSuden, does not explain how these books, which were disputed in church history, ended up in the canon. Many Protestant scholars would agree with that. It is not controversial.

  467. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    David H.,

    When you write to Steve asking “how” the books ended up in the canon, are you asking how (i.e. what criteria) was used? If so, it’s irrelevant. Even if the church flipped coins or drew straws, they could not have erred since God intended the church to get it right. Do you deny, David H., that God could have ensured the church’s reception of the canon without an infallible magisterium. YES or NO? Even David Armstrong on this site a few months ago acknowledged that God could have worked that way; he added that it would have taken longer though!

  468. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    ROn,

    “Bingo. I got that knowledge directly from God – from God’s word. You see, David H., Protestants believe God’s word is clear and we also believe that God’s word did not become God’s word upon it being received as God’s word. We believe that Ephesians two came with the authority of God prior to a pope saying so. So then, God himself, on his authority alone, revealed to the church that she would receive the word for the foundation of the church. You have a problem with that, but you have given no reason why we shouldn’t take God at his word. It’s interesting how similar Rome’s tactics are with the Satan’s. “Has God said?”

    You just keep begging the question, Ron. We both agree that it is God’s Word. No debate. But how did you get God’s Word. How do you know which books are God’s word? You just keep saying God’s Word told you. Which is not a logical answer. You did not have the Bible fall out of the sky, into your lap, open it up and determine that it is God’s word. God used His Church to get it to us.

    “God himself, on his authority alone, revealed to the church that she would receive the word for the foundation of the church.”

    But that would be extra-biblical revelation you are now relying on.

    How did the Christian in 105 A.D. in a remote village know what was to believed? He did not have a completed canon. The only scriptures he heard were in the Liturgy and there was no final canon at this time. And he may have even understood Clements letters to be scriptural and may never have heard of Hebrews or other books. How was one to believe in Sola Scriptura when the entire bible was not available to them?

  469. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Btw, Ron.

    “It’s interesting how similar Rome’s tactics are with the Satan’s. “Has God said?”

    That was a disgusting comment aimed at the Bride of Christ.

  470. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    David H. said,

    “It is hard to take you seriously, when you resort to dismissal in lieu of an actual argument.”

    Why shouldn’t I dismiss your bare assertion without argument? I can’t argue down a nonexistent argument. You gave no argument to refute. You contented yourself with a bald-faced claim about “Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John.”

    Dismissal is exactly when you deserve when you operate at this level.

  471. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    “That was a disgusting comment aimed at the Bride of Christ.”

    The Church of Rome is not the Bride of Christ. Check out what people were saying about the church of Rome before Luther ever showed up:

    http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2010/11/pre-reformation-views-of-antichrist.html

    -TurretinFan

  472. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Ron said,

    “When you write to Steve asking ‘how’ the books ended up in the canon, are you asking how (i.e. what criteria) was used? If so, it’s irrelevant. Even if the church flipped coins or drew straws, they could not have erred since God intended the church to get it right.”

    I’d like to expand on Ron’s illustration. In Lk 1 we read the following incident:

    “5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
    8Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.”

    “Chosen by lot” is a deliberately randomizing device. It’s a paradigm case of “chance.”

    The odds are astronomical that Zechariah would just so happen be at the right time and place as the angel Gabriel, when Gabriel makes his momentous announcement to the priest.

    But, of course, the reader is supposed to see in this “coincidence” a miraculous coordination of apparently random factors. What seems on the surface to be a highly improbable chance encounter was meticulously orchestrated behind-the scenes by the hidden hand of providence.

  473. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    “You did not have the Bible fall out of the sky, into your lap, open it up and determine that it is God’s word. God used His Church to get it to us.”

    God used the Jews to get us more than half of the Bible. God used all sorts of people to get the various books of the Bible to us – and all sorts of ways to show us that it is God’s word.

    The ordinary and most usual way that people get the Bible is someone giving them one, and telling them that it is the word of God. Other times, people just get the Bible itself and find in the Bible that it is God’s word (it does make that claim about itself). In some cases, for example when missionaries airdrop Bibles into an area, the Word of God can literally fall into your lap.

    But one thing is true for the English-speaking world: the Church of Rome had no desire to see God’s word in the laps of the people. It got there thanks to the church yes, but not the Church of Rome.

    - TurretinFan

  474. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Steve,

    I am under no delusion that there is anything distinguished about me. But your “Do you know who I am” argument is not impressive to me – and that is not a put down as you are no doubt a smart, educated guy and yes I do know who you are. I have read and known Reformed writers who are even more distiguished who I also think make good arguments and weak arguments.

    “In terms of time management priorities, I often prefer to focus on higher profile epologists. Or epologists with more intellectual heft.”

    Then why waste your time on a shlub like me? The guys at CtC are certainly my intllectual betters.

    I am not embarrassed but you should be as you somehow act as if your similar educational background to many of the CtC guys makes you their intellectual better. I would love to see you go over their and engage them.

    And with all due respect – that you are a prolific intenet apologist who has written a lot is not an argument. I can find you many atheists and mormons who are equally wordy with impressive vocabularies. Voluminous wiritngs are no gaurantee of a good argument or the sign of a clear thinker.

    “He has no institutional standing. He’s not the pope. Not the Prefect of the CDF. Not a bishop. Not a priest. Not a Catholic theologian.”

    Given your self professed street cred you are pretty ignorant of Catholic teaching if you think the Church forbids the non credentialed from defending their faith or making a true argument. Seems more like blow off to me. It is becoming clear you simply don’t have a response and would rather avoid the implications.

  475. Sean said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I believe back in the thread somewhere the Eucharist was discussed as it relates to the original post.

    Related to this, if anybody is interested here examining how the church fathers viewed the sacrament.

  476. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    “It is becoming clear you simply don’t have a response and would rather avoid the implications.”

    a) What exactly is it that you think Steve doesn’t have a response to?

    b) Have you bothered to check his blog to see if he has a response to it already, or are you simply guessing based on who knows what criteria?

    -TurretinFan

  477. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    David H. said,

    “Then why waste your time on a shlub like me?”

    I already explained that to you. What makes it important is the forum, not the disputant. GB is an important forum. That automatically elevates the significance of the exchange.

    “I am not embarrassed but you should be as you somehow act as if your similar educational background to many of the CtC guys makes you their intellectual better.”

    I didn’t say anything one way or the other about my educational background. And I didn’t say whether or not I’m their intellectual better.

    “I would love to see you go over their and engage them.”

    The truth of the matter is demonstrably backwards. Bryan typically avoids direct engagement with me. The GB thread is a current example. He offered a token response to me, then reverted to radio silence. I’m not the one who’s ducking out of the debate–he is.

    In addition, I post running commentaries on Michael Liccione’s arguments over at my own blog. He and Bryan are the two major players at CTC. The rest are bubble wrap.

    Of course, at CTC, all comments are moderated. They dictate if you get to comment, what you get to say, and how you get to say it. So, no, I’m not going to play against a cardsharp.

    “And with all due respect – that you are a prolific intenet apologist who has written a lot is not an argument. I can find you many atheists and mormons who are equally wordy with impressive vocabularies. Voluminous wiritngs are no gaurantee of a good argument or the sign of a clear thinker.”

    A perfect illustration of your studied duplicity. On the one hand you feign dissatisfaction because I allegedly don’t argue my position.

    On the other hand, when I point out that I have, in fact, argued my position in exhaustive detail, you do an about-face. You don’t have the slightest inclination to actually study (much less engage) my supporting material and my supporting arguments. So your initial complaint was spoken with two faces rather than a straight face.

    And, of course, you then try to cover for your prevarication with the routine preemptive strike.

    “Given your self professed street cred you are pretty ignorant of Catholic teaching if you think the Church forbids the non credentialed from defending their faith or making a true argument.”

    Burning a straw man. Did I say it was forbidden? No. But what a lay Catholic says has no official weight. It’s just his private opinion.

    And that distinction is hardly incidental. Catholic epologists constantly resort to that distinction to protect the infallibility of their denomination. “The pope wasn’t speaking ex cathedra…Joseph Fitzmyer is only giving his private opinion,” &c.

    “Seems more like blow off to me.”

    I blow you off when you make unargued claims, like your assertion about Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John.

    “It is becoming clear you simply don’t have a response and would rather avoid the implications.”

    It’s becoming clear that you speak with a forked tongue. I have extensive argumentation for my position on the canon. You demand supporting arguments, then defiantly ignore the supporting arguments, which are just a mouse click away.

    This corroborates my initial observation that your conversion to Rome represents a perfect marriage between two equally mendacious parties.

  478. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    “Related to this, if anybody is interested here examining how the church fathers viewed the sacrament.”

    Let me guess, metaphorical language in the fathers is eisegetically filled with the same kind of meaning that Rome attempts to pour into the metaphorical language in Scripture.

    I’ve seen it done a hundred times before on other blogs. Am I right?

    If you’ve actually found even one father before the 8th century who says something close to “the bread is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ under the accidents of bread,” I will be shocked. In fact, I may need resuscitation assistance. So, before I click, can you let me know?

    - TurretinFan

  479. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    For the record, I’ve responded to a number of the CTC crew over the years. So it won’t do so say I’m ignoring them. But with the proliferation of Catholic epologists, we make time management choices.

  480. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Before it slips by, notice David’s modus operandi today. He made the allegation that unless Protestants have an infallible church, they have “absolutely no reason” to believe in their canon. That would be an act of faith “independent of reason.”

    When I demonstrated that this was transparently a false dichotomy, what did he do? Why, he moved the goal post. That is arguing in bad faith.

  481. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    “A perfect illustration of your studied duplicity. On the one hand you feign dissatisfaction because I allegedly don’t argue my position.

    On the other hand, when I point out that I have, in fact, argued my position in exhaustive detail, you do an about-face. You don’t have the slightest inclination to actually study (much less engage) my supporting material and my supporting arguments. So your initial complaint was spoken with two faces rather than a straight face.”

    We are engaging each other here, int this combox, not elsewhere. Do I really need to do a google search on other things you wrote to not be seen as duplicitous in your book?

    “Burning a straw man. Did I say it was forbidden? No. But what a lay Catholic says has no official weight. It’s just his private opinion.”

    Didn’t you just write this?:

    “I post running commentaries on Michael Liccione’s arguments over at my own blog.”

    You are now doing things you accuse me of in your very same post.

    “I blow you off when you make unargued claims, like your assertion about Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John.”

    Shouldn’t I assume, given your previous mentioned exhaustive study of the subject of the canon, that you are familiar with the controversy around some or all of these books – not only on the early centuries of the Church but with Luther as well? Are you genuinely serious that you have never heard that these books had controversy around them and pose a problem for some Protestant arguments? I just do not believe you are that ignorant. And assuming you are not your blow off is a rhetorical/polemical device. Because one does not need to spell out every well known argument in a combox when one is addressing someone educated on the topic.

  482. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    But how did you get God’s Word.

    Through providence we received God’s word.

    “How do you know which books are God’s word?

    My you’re severely challenged. I know which books are God’s word based upon the books the church received. I understand that is hard for you to grasp but that’s only because you don’t believe that God can keep his promise through the means of ordinary providence.

    You just keep saying God’s Word told you [which books are God's word]

    Nope, you’re not understanding once again. I never said that God told me which books are his Word. What I said, which all the Protestant get but it goes whizzing right over your head, is that God promised that the church would have as its foundation the Word. Accordingly, whatever books the church received are indeed the Word and the church’s foundation. Imagine that, David H., God was able to make a promise and keep it without an infallible magisterium; without having to reveal a table of contents to the church; and without dropping the Bible out of the sky.

    Which is not a logical answer.

    I’ve been nothing but logical. You’re task is to invalidate the argument, but I suppose that would first require that you comprehend it.

    You did not have the Bible fall out of the sky, into your lap, open it up and determine that it is God’s word. God used His Church to get it to us.”

    *sigh* Yes David H., God used his church in the process of receiving the canon and it did not fall out of the sky. Now how does that undermine the polemic that is before you? Somebody break out the finger puppets.

  483. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Re: Steve’s post 480 – moving the goal post is a common practice among Romanists. They do argue in bad faith and it’s wicked.

  484. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Steve,

    “When I demonstrated that this was transparently a false dichotomy, what did he do? Why, he moved the goal post. That is arguing in bad faith.”

    How is quoting scripture and then drawing a very tenuous parallel about the canon a demonstration of a false dichotomy?

    See the real problem here is you toss some stuff up in response and then make a claim about the veracity of your argument and then claim I am moving the goal post. But really, you never directly addressed the issues I brought up. You said something sure – but if anything it was you who moved the goal post by answering questions I never asked.

    This is getting silly. Lengthy reponses that miss the point, appeals to things you wrote elsewhere, the old “assertion!” argument stopper and side bar insults to your “audience” are all you are offering at this point.

  485. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Ron,

    Your insults aside – God’s word does not say anything about a future collection of 66 (or 73) books being the Church’s foundation. Though I do agree that scripture is essential and primary.

    You are wrong. St. Paul, in scripture says very clearly that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). So if scripture is your foundation why don’t you believe what scripture says? I know you will now explain how this verse really doesn’t mean what it says.

  486. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    David H. said,

    “How is quoting scripture and then drawing a very tenuous parallel about the canon a demonstration of a false dichotomy?”

    Go back to comment #457.

    “But really, you never directly addressed the issues I brought up.”

    Go back to comment #457.

    Lengthy reponses that miss the point…”

    You say they miss the point, but you don’t show they miss the point. That’s what we call an assertion, David. Learn the difference between an argument and an assertion.

    “…appeals to things you wrote elsewhere.”

    Explain what is wrong with that appeal, exactly? Remember that GB is not my blog. So why wouldn’t I refer you to something on my blog? Did you think I was going to fill Lane’s combox with hundreds of pages of material from my own blog?

    “…the old ‘assertion!’ argument stopper…”

    The fact that you and truth have never been formally introduced doesn’t make that charge is misplaced. It is not my statement about your bare assertions that’s the argument stopper. It’s your assertions that constitute the argument stopper.

    When you make a statements like “Of course they used reason, but there are still books in the canon that do not meet ordinary or rational criteria. Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John should all be highly suspect to you if there was no supernatural authority vested in the Church that determined the canon”–then, yes, David, that’s nothing more than pure assertion on your part. That begs the question And that’s an argument stopper.

    Don’t fault me for your intellectual iniquities.

    “…and side bar insults…”

    Some people find the truth insulting, but it’s not possible to have a productive discussion with an opponent like you (for reasons I’ve given).

  487. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Jesus promised to build his church (Matt. 16:18) and told his apostles that those who received them received Him. (Matt. 10:40) Saint Paul added to that revelation that the church was to be founded upon the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus being the chief cornerstone. (Eph. 2:20) Consequently, the words of the apostles and Christ had to be received without error in order for the church to be founded upon them! That there was no revelation that there would be 66 books is irrelevant. The revelation was that the church would receive the books God intended. Accordingly, what the church received was what God intended. Whatever Saint Paul means by the church is the pillar and foundation of the truth, let’s not let it contradict that the church was to be founded upon the apostles, prophets and Christ! So again, why couldn’t God bring to pass the reception of the canon apart from an infallible magisterium?

  488. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    “You are wrong. St. Paul, in scripture says very clearly that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15). So if scripture is your foundation why don’t you believe what scripture says? I know you will now explain how this verse really doesn’t mean what it says.”

    The verse, in context, is talking about the necessity of the letter to Timothy so that he’ll know how to behave himself in the church of God. (a) This suggests the insufficiency of “the church” to provide this same teaching to Timothy and (b) it also suggests that “the church” there refers to the local church – the place where Timothy was behaving himself.

    -TurretinFan

  489. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    “No one has answered the authority question regarding the canon. And no one answered how modern protestants could come up with a canon if they had to do so if there was currently no canon. Who would you appeal to as the authority? Would the PCA agree with the OPC or SBC? How about the Methodists? Would they be included? Would Esther, James and Revelations make it in? Who would be the authority? ”

    What’s amusing is that practically all “Protestants” agree on the 66 book canon. And they managed to do that without having any centralized human authority forcing them to do so.

    And Rome’s between a rock and a hard place, because she can’t say she gave them the 66 book canon, without saying that she changed the canon!

    - TurretinFan

  490. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    David H. said,

    “We are engaging each other here, int this combox, not elsewhere. Do I really need to do a google search on other things you wrote to not be seen as duplicitous in your book?”

    When you accuse me of not arguing for the Protestant canon, or not addressing Catholic objections to the Protestant canon, or not engaging the contributors at CTC, even though I’m a prominent blogger who’s been doing that for years, and you even admit that my reputation precedes me (“and yes I do know who you are”), then it evinces a complete disregard for the truth when you make sweeping charges about my alleged negligence in these areas.

    “You are now doing things you accuse me of in your very same post.”

    Demonstrate the alleged inconsistency.

    “Shouldn’t I assume, given your previous mentioned exhaustive study of the subject of the canon, that you are familiar with the controversy around some or all of these books – not only on the early centuries of the Church but with Luther as well? Are you genuinely serious that you have never heard that these books had controversy around them and pose a problem for some Protestant arguments?”

    Once again, when you lose the game, you move the goal post.

    i) To begin with, notice David’s oscillation: “the controversy around some or all of these books.”

    Well, David, which is it? “Some” or “all”?

    ii) By what process of valid inference do you go from “controversy” in the early church and/or Luther to “but there are still books in the canon that do not meet ordinary or rational criteria. Esther, James, Hebrews, Relevelations, 3 John should all be highly suspect to you if there was no supernatural authority vested in the Church that determined the canon.”

    Not to mention your additional claim that “No one has answered the authority question regarding the canon. And no one answered how modern protestants could come up with a canon if they had to do so if there was currently no canon. Who would you appeal to as the authority?”

    Well, I’m not the reincarnation of Luther, so Luther’s misgivings are hardly transferable to me. By what process of valid inference do you go from Luther to “no one has answered the authority question,” &c.?

  491. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    TF,

    Even if David H. disagrees with the context and the exegesis, he can’t know that he is right regarding the meaning of the text. At best all he may render an opninion on is whether your interpretation of a given text contradicts or is consistent with Romanism, but the text itself is not knowable. If he’s true to his Romanism then he’ll have to admit that he cannot know what any verse actually teaches unless it is told to him by the magisterium and even then he can’t know for sure because so many of their pronouncements take on new meaning when the time is right. Aside from all that, I find it remarkable that the only time a Romanist cracks his Bible is in an attempt to refute a Protestant.

    Ron

  492. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    David H. said,

    “You are wrong. St. Paul, in scripture says very clearly that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15).”

    It’s nice to see that you still affirm the Pauline authorship of the Pastorals. Unfortunately, that’s not de fide in modern Catholicism.

    And Catholic commentators like Msgr. Quinn and Luke Timothy Johnson don’t share your interpretation which–like so much else of what you say–you merely assert to be the case sans the supporting argument.

  493. michael said,

    December 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    David H.

    I started my comments directed to you because of your comments in here, this way:

    David H.
    It’s been a fairly robust dialogue going on in here now and you seem to be the target! I hope you are up for the challenge with so many marksmen and shotgun handling sorts coming at you in here from various points of view shooting away at you?

    Apparently you are up for the challenge seeing you have made a few more comments to some of the living heroes of the Faith who have responded to your comments you made to me!

    I will leave TurrentinFan, Steve H., Pastor King and Ron to figure out which of them qualifies for being higher up in the hero class in my view! :)

    In one of your responses above, you wrote:

    “ The scriptures however were created for the Church and it belongs to the Church and is to be understood by the Church.”

    I would add three more groups to that list. Yes, the Scriptures were written by certain selected fallible humans, [holy men of God]. There are several groups the Scriptures are written for. One group are those who believe their life and piety is all that God accepts or needs from them by a life that is full of their good works lived before God in this life that also cancel out their bad works and their sinful nature so that when they die they have a rightful place in God’s Eternal Kingdom.

    The Gospel of John deals with these groups and this sort of people that believe that way in this poignant way, here:

    Joh 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
    Joh 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
    Joh 16:9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me;
    Joh 16:10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;
    Joh 16:11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
    Joh 16:12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

    If you wanted to take apart the various portions of John 16:7-12 you would see all the groups.

    When we think of “The Church” we believe Christ brings about the work of the Spirit in the lives of those Who are members of The Church by His sufferings for Her and then His death and after vindication from the Holy Spirit before the Throne and He who sits on that Throne, His resurrection is acknowledged as an “advantage” to the individual members of The Church. There is no advantage to the person who insists before God that his good works and pious living is all that is necessary for him to receive Eternal Life from God. And there certainly is no benefit for the ruler of this world or his angels by Christ’s sufferings and death and Resurrection after His birth through the Virgin Mary into this life.

    David H., further you wrote:

    “You asked:
    “Would you say you are knowingly going to hell when you die?”
    No. Of course not. I know who my Savior is.”

    With all due respect, I am not now convinced you do know Who your Savior is.

    Later on in your comments to me you wrote:

    “ But I am striving to work out my salvation with fear and trembling because scripture is clear that apostasy exists.”

    Well that sounds noble and pious but it conveys to me that your understanding of the free gift of Eternal Life is not right. You see, as I am coming to understand my own error that came about by being a Roman Catholic, I now understand that working out my salvation is to experience what Paul the Apostle taught in Romans, chapter 7:5-6. When I fail, I have an advocate with the Father. I would say it is ironic that your practice of striving to work out your salvation with fear and trembling is the way an apostate would work out their salvation before God. It is based in error. You see, in the very next sentence you go on and write this:

    “However, I am confident of better things but not of the perfection of my faith.”

    With those words I would heartily agree. God has no regard for your perfection to your faith. Your faith is flawed from the moment you began trusting others shortly after birth. Your RCC religion teaches the doctrine of infusion so that salvation comes with our work of Righteousness with Christ’s so there has to be merit on my part that I do to inherit Eternal Life. It is Christ’s justifying work plus my work of obedience to Rome’s dogmas; and as TurrentinFan rightly noted above, there is this unequivocal allegiance you give to the current Roman Pontiff as a necessary component to your salvation as you are striving to work out that salvation with fear and trembling.

    Jude dealt with this error in a most intriguing way when he addressed that reality back in his day by saying he needed to set aside the discussion about our common salvation and deal with a greater issue of the day. Apparently if you don’t have His Faith imputed to you replacing your imperfect faith, common salvation has no advantage to you! You most likely know the words of the Book of Jude I am referencing here?

    Quoting me you commented this way:

    “Upon what basis do you conclude what I hope your response will reflect?”
    I am not sure I understand the question. But I will tell you I base it on the teachings of Christ, the apostles and the apostles successors.

    You answered as I hoped you would. Of course we are in disagreement on the “apostolic successors” bit.

    You responded to my reference to 2 Timothy 3 this way:

    The verses you quote in no way address how the canon was given to us. It does not say that scripture is the 66 books in the Protestant Bible or the complete Bible that the Church uses. It is referring to the OT scriptures. So if we are to read this verse in the same way you are then all we need is the Old Testament.

    I mostly agree with that except of course for the last sentence.

    I am not nearly as well trained as other responders in here so I lay no claim as producing any scholarly work. When I came to Christ, or rather, He came to me, it began by being enlightened to God and the Word of His Grace by reading the Book of Matthew. I had read the Bible before, but not under the influence of the Spirit so consequently there was no meaning or insight conveyed over to my mind. Once the Spirit began His sanctifying work upon my soul, the Word of God came alive and my spirit came alive. Even afterwards, after being filled with the Spirit of Grace and Truth, I found at my first reading of the Book of Exodus that the Faith I was given was being tested. I just found it very difficult to comprehend what I was reading when reading about the things God was doing through Moses and Aaron in Egypt! I have since grown in His Faith and now when I read the book of Exodus it isn’t dry but rather exciting!

    I find this sentence quite ironic in light of my point about the Greek Word Logikos used by both Paul and Peter:

    “The point is that for a Protestant to accept that the 66 books of the Bible they accept are THE Scriptures they have to take it as a matter of faith independent of reason.”

    When I read a sentence like that one, I simply conclude you do not understand the Bible or how the Spirit works to enlighten or reveal His call to True Believers to walk in the new way, He, the Spirit, provides those having been born again are to walk in by His Faith.

    It seems to me you are confused about His Faith and how the Spirit uses our reason to understand it?

    Finally, David H. I have one last bone to pick with you from this series of comments from you to me. You wrote:

    “But in trusting Him we must also remember that the Apostles were commissioned by Him to also teach them to obey all He commanded them.”

    I am not sure why you would write that? I would think every Protestant making comments in here would agree with that point?

    In fact, the Apostle Paul has a great one liner argument that establishes the Truth of that comment. I will end with citing it here:

    Php 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

    It would be fair to say that all the writers of 66 books of the Bible wrote for that purpose, that is, so that those reading their inspired words would come to the God of Peace. Scripture, though written through men of God, selected by God, wrote so that you would come into communion with the God of Peace and be saved from His wrath!

    Well, I look forward to reading your comments regarding mine?

    Thanks, michael

  494. David Weiner said,

    December 13, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I guess David H said that “You are wrong. St. Paul, in scripture says very clearly that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Timothy 3:15).”

    I wonder if he is aware that, in this verse, the only place there is a ‘the’ in the original is as a modifier of the last word, truth.

  495. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Steve,

    “It’s nice to see that you still affirm the Pauline authorship of the Pastorals. Unfortunately, that’s not de fide in modern Catholicism.”

    That they are scripture is de fide. Are you trying to suggest to your audience that the Church therefore does not believe St. Paul to be the author? If so that is a deceptive ploy.

    It also not “de fide” in much of Protestantism. Does that disprove the Reformation.

    “And Catholic commentators like Msgr. Quinn and Luke Timothy Johnson don’t share your interpretation which–like so much else of what you say–you merely assert to be the case sans the supporting argument.”

    Shall I now start to quote liberal Protestants who have Borg-like views of scripture to show that you are merely asserting something? This is a ridiculous and misleading form of argumentation. Are you now going to start quoting Kung as if he were considered Catholic orthodoxy? This is such a cynical ploy.

  496. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    David Weiner,

    “I wonder if he is aware that, in this verse, the only place there is a ‘the’ in the original is as a modifier of the last word, truth.”

    Take it up with the overwhelming majority of translators and scholars. Except for the ESV (which is an otherwise great translation) the contextual meaning was unanimous as evidenced by every other translator. Did you know there is also no “a” there either?

  497. David H. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Tfan,

    “What’s amusing is that practically all “Protestants” agree on the 66 book canon. And they managed to do that without having any centralized human authority forcing them to do so.”

    All Protestants take it on faith because that is what they were told. The vast majority of protestants haven’t a clue about the origins of the canon (ture of Catholics as well). But most protestants agree in a fideistic manner. It is what you inhereted. It is your tradition.

    “And Rome’s between a rock and a hard place, because she can’t say she gave them the 66 book canon, without saying that she changed the canon!”

    I don’t think you thought about what you wrote before you wrote it. It is exactly the opposite. Those 66 books are a part of the canon – that Luther deleted 7 books because he was forced to come up with a reason to get rid of Macabees because it injured his no prayers for the dead argument. So based on the mythical council of Jamnia (now we are to follow Jews who rejected Christ?) a weak argument about no Hebrew versions of the duetercanonicals existing therefore they are not scripture was made. If only Luther lived to see the Dead Sea Scrolls with Hebrew version of those books appear a few centuries later.

  498. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    David H. said,

    “That they are scripture is de fide. Are you trying to suggest to your audience that the Church therefore does not believe St. Paul to be the author? If so that is a deceptive ploy.”

    What makes you think it’s the least bit deceptive to suggest the contemporary church of Rome doesn’t officially affirm the Pauline authorship of 1 Timothy?

    “It also not ‘de fide’ in much of Protestantism. Does that disprove the Reformation.”

    You were the one who attributed the letter to Paul. I’m merely noting the discrepancy between your own position and mainstream Catholic scholarship.

    “Shall I now start to quote liberal Protestants who have Borg-like views of scripture to show that you are merely asserting something? This is a ridiculous and misleading form of argumentation. Are you now going to start quoting Kung as if he were considered Catholic orthodoxy? This is such a cynical ploy.”

    i) What evidence do you have that Luke Timothy Johnson or the late Mnsr. Quinn were dissidents?

    ii) What’s the point of mentioning liberal Protestants. Have you settled for parity rather than the superiority of Rome?

  499. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    David H. said,

    “All Protestants take it on faith because that is what they were told.”

    Really? You know for a fact that Bruce Metzger, F. F. Bruce, E. E. Ellis, John Sailhamer, Roger Beckwith, and C. E. Hill (to name a few) take the Protestant canon on faith because that is what they were told. They haven’t conducted any independent investigations of their own.

    “The vast majority of protestants haven’t a clue about the origins of the canon (ture of Catholics as well). But most protestants agree in a fideistic manner. It is what you inhereted. It is your tradition.”

    What about Catholic converts to Protestantism like Tom Schreiner?

    “I don’t think you thought about what you wrote before you wrote it. It is exactly the opposite. Those 66 books are a part of the canon – that Luther deleted 7 books because he was forced to come up with a reason to get rid of Macabees because it injured his no prayers for the dead argument”

    You act as if there was a settled canon in Luther’s time. But, of course, that was an intramural debate within Catholicism. Consider the dissension among the Tridentine Fathers. The decree on the canon wasn’t unanimous. It didn’t even garner a majority vote. Just a plurality.

    “So based on the mythical council of Jamnia…”

    Does Roger Beckwith (to take one example) pin his case on Jamnia?

  500. Sean said,

    December 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    TFan.

    I find it interesting that you set the standard for patristic testimony in such a way.

    What the article shows is the following, I’ll cite some examples:

    1) There is an affirmation of a change taking place after the consecration of the bread and wine.

    For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change (transmutation) of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus. – St. Justin Martyr First Apology 66

    Notice that St. Justin does not merely affirm that the food (bread) has been changed, but that it had been changed specifically by the Eucharistic prayer.

    Another example: When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receives the Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life—flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and is in fact a member of him? – St. Irenaeus Against Heresies 5:3

    Now we, as often as we receive the Sacramental Elements, which by the mysterious efficacy of holy prayer are transformed into the Flesh and the Blood, ‘do show the Lord’s Death.’ – St. Ambrose On the Christian Faith 4, 10:125

    The mysterious efficacy of the holy prayer transforms the elements into the flesh and blood of Jesus. Now, Ambrose was not blind. He did not have bad taste buds. He could see that the host still looked like a piece of bread. Yet, he affirms true change in the elements themselves.

    Not all bread receives this change. St. Augustine says:

    The Lord Jesus wanted those whose eyes were held lest they should recognize him, to recognize Him in the breaking of the bread10. The faithful know what I am saying. They know Christ in the breaking of the bread. For not all bread, but only that which receives the blessing of Christ, becomes Christ’s Body.” – St. Augustine Sermons 234:2

    2) Simple Identification of the Species

    I take no pleasure in corruptible food or in the delights of this life. I want the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who is the seed of David; and for drink I want his Blood which is incorruptible love. -St. Ignatius to the Romans 7:3

    Perhaps you may be saying, ‘I see something else; how can you assure me that I am receiving the body of Christ?’ It but remains for us to prove it. And how many are the examples we might use! . . . Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ. – St. Ambrose The Mysteries 9:50, 58

    3) Extroidanry Reverence

    You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall, and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish… how is it that you think neglecting the word of God a lesser crime than neglecting His body? – Origen Homilies on Exodus 13:3

    The article also discusses the question, “Is the doctrine of Transubstantiation dependent on Aristotlean metaphysics?”

    And, “Does patristic reference to Eucharistic symbolism indicate disbelief in an actual change?”

    And, “Do some patristic statements indicate that a particular father disbelieved in substantial change?”

    And, “Does Transubstantiation undermine the true corporeality of Christ’s Body?”

    And, “Do the Eastern Orthodox reject Transubstantiation?’

    And, “Is Transubstantiation tantamount to cannibalism?”

    Here is the link again. I would argue that it is worthy of discussion.

  501. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    DW wrote: “I wonder if he is aware that, in this verse, the only place there is a ‘the’ in the original is as a modifier of the last word, truth.”

    DH replied: “Take it up with the overwhelming majority of translators and scholars. Except for the ESV (which is an otherwise great translation) the contextual meaning was unanimous as evidenced by every other translator. Did you know there is also no “a” there either?”

    Of course (for reasons that are obvious), there’s no “the” in the Latin of Jerome, or the Vulgate text, or the New Vulgate text either. But the overwhelming majority of English translations (almost all “Protestant” are the trump card over the Greek original and official Latin).

    Go ahead and emphasize the article that’s not in your church’s official, allegedly authentic translation!

    When your argument is built on reading emphasis into a word that is added in translation (whether or not its addition is justified – notice that neither DW nor myself is saying one should translate it the way the ESV does), you are probably barking up the wrong tree.

    -TurretinFan

  502. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Dear Sean:

    You find it strange that I should ask that if the fathers are going to be cited as teaching what Rome teaches, it should be shown where they actually teach what Rome teaches? To me it is strange that you would accept something else!

    But as for the first category, even someone who thought that the sacraments were only a symbol could affirm the quotations you’ve identified, particularly the first and last ones. If someone says that a block of marble is transformed by the artist’s skill into a horse, you would surely not think they meant there was any change of substance of the stone, only a change of shape. In this case, ordinary bead and drink are not transformed by having their shape altered (we are not idolaters, after all) but are instead transformed by being consecrated to a special purpose (much like the shewbread was consecrated for a special purpose). Before the consecration, it is just bread – after the consecration it is Jesus’ body.

    Ambrose’s words with that “mysterious efficacy” might sound very helpful to your case. But are you aware of what word your translators have rendered “transformed”? It is “transfigurantur” – the sort of word someone who viewed them as a symbol that has power would use.

    Irenaeus is also a surprising choice (the correct citation would be Book 5, Chapter 2, I think). The immediately preceding section makes clear that Irenaeus views the bread and cup as being part of creation, and the section itself spiritualizes the physical nourishment that the cup gives to our blood and the bread to our body. It’s quite the opposite of a helpful quotation for your position.

    As to section 2, that’s what I was referring to as the typical approach of pouring Roman meaning into a father’s metaphorical language.

    As to section 3, we gladly grant that extraordinary reverence was given. Yet Origen’s comment makes no sense from the standpoint of a transubstantiationist: Origen’s comparison is between the word and the body of Christ – not between the word and the whole of Christ. The argument for Origen appears to be from lesser to greater, not from greater to lesser.

    Ah well. Thanks for the summary, though! I am glad to know that I will not be shocked by the contents of the article, there being no evidence of the Roman belief that by the consecration the bread is transformed in its substance into the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, while remaining under the accidents of bread. I do sincerely appreciate the time you took to put together your summary, but I hope you will (upon reflecting about this) see the historical weakness of the Roman position.

    Even if it could be shown that Transubstantiation were true (we do not believe it can, of course, but let’s suppose it could), still it would remain a doctrine that was completely unknown to the early church. It was not a doctrine taught by the early church, nor was it a doctrine taught by the early heretics and opposed by the early church.

    -TurretinFan

  503. David Weiner said,

    December 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    David H,

    You asked: Did you know there is also no “a” there either?

    I was confused by this question since I am sure you know that Koine did not have a word for ‘a’ ? But, it does have a word for ‘the’ and its use is very important. Also, its absence is very telling.

  504. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Dave H.

    You wrote: “All Protestants take it on faith because that is what they were told. The vast majority of protestants haven’t a clue about the origins of the canon (ture of Catholics as well). But most protestants agree in a fideistic manner. It is what you inhereted. It is your tradition.”

    Let’s take that all as true (it’s not, as Steve has pointed out – but let’s pretend). So what? The question really is whether or not it is right, isn’t it?

    I had written: “And Rome’s between a rock and a hard place, because she can’t say she gave them the 66 book canon, without saying that she changed the canon!”

    You replied: “I don’t think you thought about what you wrote before you wrote it. It is exactly the opposite. Those 66 books are a part of the canon – that Luther deleted 7 books because he was forced to come up with a reason to get rid of Macabees because it injured his no prayers for the dead argument.”

    ROFL

    Then what was the reason that Gregory I rejected Maccabees?

    Or why did the Roman Cardinals Jimenez and Cajetan exclude the deuterocanonical books from the canon? Is it because they too were against prayers to the dead?

    “So based on the mythical council of Jamnia (now we are to follow Jews who rejected Christ?) a weak argument about no Hebrew versions of the duetercanonicals existing therefore they are not scripture was made.”

    I don’t think I based any argument above on Jamnia – whether or not it was mythical. One could instead base one’s argument on the very real historian Josephus, for example.

    “If only Luther lived to see the Dead Sea Scrolls with Hebrew version of those books appear a few centuries later.”

    a) I hope you’re aware that there were plenty of non-canonical works in those caves.

    b) I’m not sure whether that would have made much difference. The Jews did not consider the to be Scripture and consequently did not preserve them.

    c) Whether there was an Aramaic original or translation for those works is interesting. Are you aware of any studies that address the evidences for Greek originality?

    -TurretinFan

  505. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    David H. said,

    “All Protestants take it on faith because that is what they were told. The vast majority of protestants haven’t a clue about the origins of the canon (ture of Catholics as well). But most protestants agree in a fideistic manner. It is what you inhereted. It is your tradition.”

    Objections based on social conditioning have an unpleasant tendency to ricochet or backfire. Thanks for admitting that all cradle Catholics take it on faith because that’s what they were told. It’s what they inherited. Their tradition.

    Next time you cite social conditioning, be sure to don a helmet and flak jacket to minimize friendly fire fatalities in the process.

    “If only Luther lived to see the Dead Sea Scrolls with Hebrew version of those books appear a few centuries later.”

    Of course, it’s not as if the Tridentine Fathers had access to modern archeology either. Are you now saying the Roman Catholic canon is provisional? Subject to revision pending new archeological discoveries?

  506. David H said,

    December 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    First let me say that Paige’s for post gets a 500+ thread. That’s an impressive start.

    Steve, Tfan & Ron,

    This has degenerated into a spitting contest, I am not blaming anyone – it is what it is, but don’t see how we can get anywhere profitable without a cooling off period. I am happy to correspond on the last couple of posts if you like, but for now I am bowing out because this is not at all Christmas-y.

    Merry Christmas,

    David

  507. Ryan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    If OT saints were, without the justification of an infallible Magisterium, capable of discerning God’s commandments, why shouldn’t we who possess God’s written word be able to do the same? Was it unreasonable for Abraham to believe that God rather than Descartes’ omnipotent demon commanded that Isaac be sacrificed?

    It seems to me that Scripture must be viewed as sub-revelation. God was as able to communicate who He was to the patriarchs without any need for mediation as was Jesus to the apostles (Hebrews 1:1-2). But the RC seemingly believes that the God-breathed Scriptures are not likewise self-authenticating. This is special pleading.

  508. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    David H.,

    It seems apparent that you had no intention of corresponding with any serious post otherwise you would have done so. You certainly had ample opportunity. You behave like every papist that every visits GB. Go back through the thread and look at (1) all the questions you dodged; (2) all the arguments you ignored; and (3) all the conclusions you assumed without a defense. Frankly, it disgusts me to see men created in the image of God behave like the papists that visit this site.

    Ron

  509. Phil Derksen said,

    December 13, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    If must say that if this had been a boxing match, and I were the ref, I would have stepped in a while ago and stopped the fight. It was just way too one-sided. I would then have put my lips to David H.’s ear, and said: “Sir, you are taking a real beating here. You are a bloody mess. You are no longer really defending yourself, but simply staggering around, vainly trying to avoid what’s coming at you. Better to withdraw now with what dignity remains, and survive to fight another day.”

    (just saying, from the peanut gallery)

  510. Tom Riello said,

    December 13, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Ron,

    David has engaged in positive and thoughtful conversation, to say he has not, I think is unfair. I also want to echo Sean’s suggestion to check out Tim Troutman’s excellent piece today over at Called to Communion. You are invited to join the conversation on his article, provided that it be thoughtful and engaging on the views presented.

  511. Sean said,

    December 13, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    T Fan,

    Thank you for responding. I simply must disagree with you that it is we who are wrongly importing our views onto the words of the fathers.

    The clearest way to let the fathers ‘speak for themselves’ which is what we all are always encouraging, makes a Reformed reading pretty difficult. The fathers consistently spoke about the sacrament in ways that would not get the WCOF stamp of approval.

    Approaching the Eucharist therefore, do not come forward with the palms of the hands outstretched nor with the fingers apart, but making the left hand a throne for the right since this hand is about to receive the King. Making the palm hollow, receive the Body of Christ, adding ‘Amen’. Then. carefully sanctifying the eyes by touching them with the holy Body, partake of it, ensuring that you do not mislay any of it. For if you mislay any, you would clearly suffer a loss, as it were, from one of your own limbs. Tell me, if anyone gave you gold-dust, would you not take hold of it with every possible care, ensuring that you do not mislay any of it or sustain any loss? So will you not be much more cautious to ensure that not a crumb falls away from that which is more precious than gold or precious stones?

    Then, after you have partaken of the Body of Christ, come forward only for the cup of the Blood. Do not stretch out your hands but bow low as if making an act of obeisance and a profound act of veneration. Say ‘Amen’. and sanctify yourself by partaking of Christ’s Blood also. While the moisture is still on your lips, touch them with your hands and sanctify your eyes, your forehead, and all your other sensory organs. Finally, wait for the prayer and give thanks to God, who has deemed you worthy of such mysteries.
    St. Cyril of Jerusalem Catechesis Mystagogica V, 11-22

    I believe that in my PCA church the crumbs and left over un-consumed bread is thrown in the trash with the coffee cups and leftover cookies.

    There is a reason that so many Christians are reading the church fathers and finding their way into the Catholic Church.

    Here is a former Protestant historian whose major emphasis of study was Calvin who has come into the Catholic Church after reading church history and letting the ‘fathers speak for themselves.’ He appeared on ‘The Journey Home’ last week.

  512. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Excuse me Tom but I’m still waiting for your explanation back from post 25 of how Jesus appeared to be a normal man while displaying sovereignty over creation. http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/the-neatly-ordered-ordinary/#comment-80819

    As has been noted by more than a few, you like David H., like Sean P and like your idol the infamous B. Cross simply skip to the next wild assertion once the previous one has been obliterated. You have no clue what “positive and thoughtful conversation” looks like, so why would I even consider engaging on Called to Popery?

  513. David H said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Ron,

    “It seems apparent that you had no intention of corresponding with any serious post otherwise you would have done so.”

    You said it, not me.

    Sorry I could not resist. ;-)

  514. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    There is a reason that so many Christians are reading the church fathers and finding their way into the Catholic Church.

    Sean,

    Do you really want to make such an appeal given the millions that have converted to evangelical Christianity from Romanism? I never seize to be amazed at what comes out of the mouths of those involved with Called to Popery.

    Ron

  515. Sean said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Ron – As has been noted by more than a few, you like David H., like Sean P and like your idol the infamous B. Cross simply skip to the next wild assertion.

    I would suggest that the reason people have left the conversation has more to do with constantly being insulted and so cavalierly judged.

    Do you really want to make such an appeal given the millions that have converted to evangelical Christianity from Romanism?

    I don’t know what ‘Romanism’ is. Furthermore, I have met many former Catholics. Yet I have never met a former Catholic who left the church over discovering that the early church did not jive with Catholic doctrine. Yet right now at my parish there are half a dozen in RCIA who were Protestant and then encountered church history and for that reason are becoming Catholic.

  516. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    David H.,

    Your post would be funny if it wasn’t so pitiful. Now tell us again why God needed the help of an infallible magisterium for the church to receive the canon, and while you’re at it please produce that syllogism once again that gets you from an infallible Peter to a perpetual, infallible magisterium? I must have missed those entries of yours.

    Ron

  517. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Sean,

    Wow, a whole half dozen converts to Romanism. Sean, becoming a convert to Rome is like being a convert to Islam. It just involves the relabeling of an infidel. You do, however, bring to light a couple of great points for which I am grateful. One should not expect to find too many Romanists leave their communion over a Protestant interpretation of the fathers simply because people leave Romanism when they’re spiritually converted by the message of the gospel. Yet I can imagine a Protestant here and there leaving his communion for Romanism because of a misunderstanding of church history. The point is, people don’t go to Rome because of the gospel message but rather because of a non-evangelical message regarding a certain interpretation of church history. The point being, there’s no work of grace and spiritual conversion in becoming a Romanist.

    Incidentally, it’s obvious you missed the point that the Protestant defense of the fathers is not intended to be a means of conversion but rather it is intended to offer corroborating evidence that Romanism is a lie through and through. I’m sorry that you’ve been operating under such delusion, which your post presupposes.

  518. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Sean said,

    “I would suggest that the reason people have left the conversation has more to do with constantly being insulted and so cavalierly judged.”

    Couldn’t be they left after they ran out of pat answers which were summarily shot down.

  519. John Bugay said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Ron 517: Wow, a whole half dozen converts to Romanism.

    Don’t get too alarmed here, Ron, it’s possible that some of these people are converting because they are marrying into it.

    Sean 515: Yet I have never met a former Catholic who left the church over discovering that the early church did not jive with Catholic doctrine.

    :: waves hands ::

  520. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I can only wonder what Called to Popery would pay to have a Steve Hays, Turretin Fan, or David King type give a Roman “conversion” testimony over the airwaves. Instant “sainthood” I’m sure. Maybe even a trip to the Vatican. John, you and I would probably have to settle for a post card from the pope.

  521. John Bugay said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Ron, they are praying for James White:

    http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4332

  522. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    What a comfort that must be for our dear brother.

  523. John Bugay said,

    December 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    They are a bunch of tightwads. Only 3 hail mary’s? They’re not barely going to get into their rosaries. My mom has prayed rosaries for me for years, and I’m still going in the wrong direction. 10,000 is not nearly enough. They need to get on their treadmills and really crank it out. They’ve been obligated. “In their thoughts and in their words, in what they have done, and in what they have failed to do.”

    They need to get on their treadmills!

  524. Sean said,

    December 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Ron.

    I said, I would suggest that the reason people have left the conversation has more to do with constantly being insulted and so cavalierly judged.

    You answer, Sean, becoming a convert to Rome is like being a convert to Islam. It just involves the relabeling of an infidel.

    That about sums it up.

  525. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Sean, you paraded a half dozen converts to popery in the face of millions who have left Romanism for the truth. Then when it’s pointed out to you that becoming a papist involves no different standing in Christ than becoming a Muslim you get your panties in a wad. Address a few arguments and defend a few assertions and I’ll begin to take you seriously. As for now, you’re just a porch puppie.

  526. steve hays said,

    December 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Ron said,

    “I can only wonder what Called to Popery would pay to have a Steve Hays, Turretin Fan, or David King type give a Roman ‘conversion’ testimony over the airwaves. Instant ‘sainthood’ I’m sure. Maybe even a trip to the Vatican.”

    I doubt CTC has the resources to make a sufficiently tempting proposal. Any offer in exchange for my conversion to popery would have to come direct from the Holy See. Being a humble man, I guess I could settle for the patriarchate of Venice, a candlelight dinner with Sophia Loren, and a Bugatti Veyron. Oh, I’d also demand transactional immunity so that when Mephistopheles came for my soul, I’d have my get-out-of-inferno card.

  527. TurretinFan said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Sean wrote:

    Ron.

    I said, I would suggest that the reason people have left the conversation has more to do with constantly being insulted and so cavalierly judged.

    You answer, Sean, becoming a convert to Rome is like being a convert to Islam. It just involves the relabeling of an infidel.

    That about sums it up.

    Didn’t you understand that this was our position when you were among us? If you did, why are you playing the role of the person with hurt feelings when we point it out now? It’s quite literally the gospel truth. Unless and until you trust in Christ alone for salvation, you are as lost in Rome’s religion of adding merit to grace and works to faith as you would be in Islam’s false religion.

    That’s neither an “insult” nor a cavalier judgment. It’s a very serious and stern warning. It’s particularly serious for you and your fellow wanderers at Called to Communion, because you have received the outward blessings associated with the members of the new covenant.

    It’s a very serious thing, Mr. Patrick – it is for us, and I hope it is for you as well.

    - TurretinFan

  528. D. T. King said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Re # 510 – Mr. Riello, congratulations for cheering on your co-religionists. They’re doing a great job repeating their talking points, and I think you have provided them with an excellent cheerleading section. You’ve found your niche!

    However, I was wondering if you could pause your cheerleading for them just long enough to answer my question that I’ve repeated a number of times now. Do you repudiate that caricature you offered about the Reformed not affirming the divine origin of the church?

  529. Sean said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    TFan –

    # 527.

    Calling us muslims and/or calling us papists and/or romanists and/or telling us that our children are going to be awful people and/or mocking Bryan and saying that he is our ‘idol’ does not advance the conversation or send us the ‘stern’ warning that is apparently intended. It merely tells us that some people are extremely childish and unable to act with civility.

  530. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    TF,

    That’s the tragic irony in all of this. 500 posts into the thread and Sean finally gets his knickers in a knot over the implications of what we’ve be talking about for two weeks. I’m convinced he has no idea what the stakes are. We’re all going to make it in the end due to a baptism of desire or some other unrecorded oral tradition that is post-Tridentine yet apostolic.

    Ron

  531. Ron said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Sean,

    You want to stay on course? O.K., let’s stay on course.

    1. Could God have brought to pass the reception of the canon without an infallible magisterium?

    2. How do you get from Peter’s alleged infallibility to a perpetual papal infallibility?

    Ron

  532. Steve G. said,

    December 13, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Sean

    “Calling us muslims and/or calling us papists and/or romanists and/or telling us that our children are going to be awful people and/or mocking Bryan and saying that he is our ‘idol’ does not advance the conversation or send us the ‘stern’ warning that is apparently intended.”

    This cuts both ways. There’s a fellow at CTC who says that Muslims are just another Protestant heresy, but none of the Catholics there call him out on that.

  533. Bob Suden said,

    December 13, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    I’m with TF on 471.
    At the Reformation, sola scriptura, justification by faith alone in Christ alone and Rome was AntiChrist were the perspicuous majority/default views.

  534. Bob Suden said,

    December 14, 2010 at 12:04 am

    As regards the absence of Mr. Cross from the scrum here, we are told he has been driven off due to the bad manners. Well, maybe, maybe not.

    He could after all, be on a recruiting mission right now as the third string runs wild.

    Think about it. Arthur Blessit is a pentecostal that interprets the Scripture in the same literal wooden fundamentalist way that our ex-pentecostal transubstantiationist does – but not perhaps like a zealous Mariolater, give him time please – and Voila!, we soon might have a new prize convert to parade before the world.

    And send on a kamikaze blogging mission over here. Oh, joy.

    But forget apologies, our philosophy professor really needs to make some retractions if he wants to have any credibility or integrity as an honest opponent.

    1. The charge of protestant deism, ecclesial or otherwise, is categorically, hypocritically and fatally misplaced. If anything, it is the Roman church’s view of Scripture that is deistic.

    For instance, the recently deceased Joe Sobran, who was no slouch of a writer, as a typical romanist, essentially denies that Christ by his Spirit wrote the NT (contra Jn. 14:26, Lk.1:3,4 for starters). Granted the truth is spiritually discerned and Joe was only a layman, but that’s how things operate on the ground whatever the official special pleading and nominal appeal to the Word of God by the magisterium.

    Nevertheless, Scripture is quite clear. Not only shall man not live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God – not just Matt. 16:18 – Scripture is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the soul and spirit and discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart Heb. 4:12. It is by his word that the Lord regenerates a sinner unto life eternal 1 Pet.1:23. It effectually worketh in them that believe 1 Thess. 2:13 and cannot be bound – even by Rome 2 Tim.2:9. It is a sure word of prophecy by which the gospel is preached 1 Pet. 1:25, Rom. 10:17, a savor of life unto life unto those that be saved and of death unto death unto those that perish 2 Cor.2:15,16.

    IOW the either or/false dichotomy/straw man where the only choice is between infallible Rome or total uncertainty in identifying Scripture and determining the canon, implicitly leaves the Word of God itself entirely out of the picture.

    But what else would we expect the Roman church to do?

    2. Private judgement is inescapable even by private parties publicly promoting popery.

    Rather we think/surmise that Mr. Cross couldn’t handle it. In Scripture, he came face to face with the living God and saviour, Jesus Christ the Lord and he flinched. He couldn’t bear to behold Christ’s glory and authority, even as mediated clearly in his Word, so he bailed and threw it all in, on and upon the Roman church and its magisterium – ecclesia ex machina as it were.

    3. Fallacy of the undistributed middle term regarding the necessary parallels between both the apostles and their successors/the ECFs and the Roman magisterium/the early church and the Roman church. IOW this is Philosophy 101. The form of the argument is wrong, never mind its sense. (FTM the early church gave us the canon, beginning with Athanasius and the Council of Carthage. But A. wasn’t even the pope of Alexandria in Egypt and Carthage is in Libya, not Italy. Go figure.) Likewise ecclesial docetism is also nonsense multiplied and another instance of the same fallacy/category error. That Christ came in a human body is one thing. That his spiritual body, the Church is made up of real people with human bodies is another thing.

    4. The Lost/Apocryphal/Hidden Apostolic Oral Traditions. Infallible Rome insists that she established the canon of Scripture, but she can’t give us a canonical list of traditions. How pathetic/enough said.

    IOW four strikes and you’re out of here.
    Which is exactly what has happened.

    I’d be long gone too. Owning up might be too embarrassing and humiliating for reps of a church with an infallible rep.

  535. Bob Suden said,

    December 14, 2010 at 12:11 am

    “Calling us muslims and/or calling us papists and/or romanists . . . does not advance the conversation or send us the ‘stern’ warning that is apparently intended.”

    A papist is somebody who defends the office, works, pomp and service of the pope.
    A Romanist is a member of the Roman church.
    To his credit, Lord Acton was the second, but not the first.
    (Ever heard the ‘the power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ meme? Thank Lord Acton. )

    The Reformation considered the pope and Muhammed respectively to be the western and eastern antiChrist sent to chastise his church.

  536. Bob Suden said,

    December 14, 2010 at 12:12 am

    “chastise Christ’s church.”

  537. Roger du Barry said,

    December 14, 2010 at 4:06 am

    I call a follower of the Pope a Papist or a Romanist because they are not Catholic. These are, strictly speaking, accurate descriptions, because these people follow the Pope and are members of the Roman See.

    I am a Catholic, which I confess every service either in the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed: I believe in the Catholic Church (AC), and, I believe one catholic and apostolic church (NC).

    Papists call me a Protestant, and call themselves Catholic. I do not grant them the right or the title to that name.

    BTW, that was one of the central arguments of the Reformation, and it needs to be frequently aired. Those posting here who call themselves Catholic are nothing of the sort.

  538. TurretinFan said,

    December 14, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Sean:

    You wrote:

    Calling us muslims and/or calling us papists and/or romanists and/or telling us that our children are going to be awful people and/or mocking Bryan and saying that he is our ‘idol’ does not advance the conversation or send us the ‘stern’ warning that is apparently intended. It merely tells us that some people are extremely childish and unable to act with civility.

    The terms “papists” and “romanists” are not terms you like, but they are descriptive terms (as others have already pointed out). You guys are obviously not Muslims – Muslims don’t make graven images and bow down to them. Unless you trust in Christ alone, however, you are just as spiritually dead as your idols are physically dead.

    As for Bryan, if he wants to respond to the critiques of his arguments, he’s certainly welcome to do so. When he runs off when people like Steve Hays and Pastor King show up, it could be just an unfortunate coincidence, or it could be that he (more than his companions) recognizes when he’s fighting a losing battle, or there could be some other explanation (such as being upset over perceived incivility or offense).

    As I mentioned before, the topic is a serious one. When folks like Pastor King using the term “Romanist” or “Papist,” they are making a point like the one that Roger pointed out above. They are making the point that your sect is not the Catholic Church. It is a Roman church (hence “Romanist”) and a Pope-ruled church (hence “papists”). That’s a serious point that is being made. And likewise your claim that your church is “the Catholic church” is a serious claim that is intrinsically offensive to us.

    But let’s try to get beyond the issue of what aspects of each other’s views offend one another and attempt to discuss what the Truth is, particularly with respect to the topics at hand.

    - TurretinFan

  539. paigebritton said,

    December 14, 2010 at 8:17 am

    As for Bryan, if he wants to respond to the critiques of his arguments, he’s certainly welcome to do so. When he runs off when people like Steve Hays and Pastor King show up, it could be just an unfortunate coincidence, or it could be that he (more than his companions) recognizes when he’s fighting a losing battle, or there could be some other explanation (such as being upset over perceived incivility or offense).

    I noticed that Bryan himself actually has not condescended to participate on this thread even once, possibly because he considers the author of the post among the least of the small potatoes he regularly consumes for breakfast. In which case I may have the unexpected role of being a Bryan-deterrent. Be grateful for small favors!

    :) pb

  540. John Bugay said,

    December 14, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Paige — it actually would be a bigger favor for us (and everyone who reads here) if Bryan were to interact with these folks.

  541. steve hays said,

    December 14, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Sean said,

    “Calling us muslims and/or calling us papists and/or romanists and/or telling us that our children are going to be awful people and/or mocking Bryan and saying that he is our ‘idol’ does not advance the conversation or send us the ‘stern’ warning that is apparently intended. It merely tells us that some people are extremely childish and unable to act with civility.”

    Yes, Bryan is far to civil to compare Protestants to Muslims. Instead, Bryan compares Protestants to Gnostics, Deists, and Docetists.

    Thanks, Sean, for once again demonstrating your moral consistency.

    Like a streaker at a football game, Bryan has a knack for getting attention, but by the same token, he doesn’t like to get caught, so he makes his escape before the security guards can cuff him and put him in the paddy wagon.

  542. TurretinFan said,

    December 14, 2010 at 8:25 am

    John Bugay wrote:

    They are a bunch of tightwads. Only 3 hail mary’s? They’re not barely going to get into their rosaries. My mom has prayed rosaries for me for years, and I’m still going in the wrong direction. 10,000 is not nearly enough. They need to get on their treadmills and really crank it out. They’ve been obligated. “In their thoughts and in their words, in what they have done, and in what they have failed to do.”

    It is interesting to see the difference between Reformed and Roman prayer life. When we pray for someone (even when we do so diligently and for years), we are just – you know – praying for that person. We’re not repeating rote prayers that have little or nothing to do with the person and tacking on some kind of prayer of intent, requesting that the benefit of the prayers be applied to someone.

    - TurretinFan

  543. steve hays said,

    December 14, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Three Hail Marys. It’s like Buddhist prayer-wheels. They even have digital prayer-wheels these days. Why not digital Hail Marys?

  544. David H. said,

    December 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

    The concern for souls is very apparent. I must have missed that part in the sermon on the mount where Jesus taught his disciples to mock, revile, gloat, smear and rejoice in hate (I know it is really love because you are concerned for our souls…. riiiight).

    If a Catholic, or anmyone, asked me why they should not become Reformed I would merely tell them to read the last several posts on here. They won’t find evidence of Christian Reform. They will see the spirit of rebellion.

    They will know we are Christians by our love.

    Ryan, your last post deserves a response. Can I find your email at your blog?

  545. TurretinFan said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Sean:

    I see that in response to my detailed refutation, you have simply stated that you disagree and that you would like the fathers to speak for themselves. You then quote from something that you ascribe to Cyril of Jerusalem.

    Actually, though, this is not his work. As the editor in the Fathers of the Church series edition of Cyril’s works writes:

    Again, the Mystagogiae, both as a theological and a literary work, seem unworthy of Cyril. Compared with the praises of baptism in the Lenten Lectures, set in a rich context of biblical theology, the Mystagogiae seem somewhat jejune and lame, as well as obscure. Awe and exclamations of wonder have taken the place of understanding. Cyril, on the other hand, commanded considerable biblical and theological resources, to which corresponded a notable mastery of language, a quite rich vocabulary and some imagination. The diction of the Mystagogiae is, by comparison, poverty-stricken; I have deliberately, in my translation, left some of its infelicities unimproved.

    Fathers of the Church, Vol. 64, The Works of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Volume 1 (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1949), pp. 146-147.

    And again:

    Little is known for certain about Cyril except that he was a bishop of the Holy City from ca. early 349 to 18 March 387, was several times deposed and banished, for many a long year resisted the Nicene definition of the “consubstantial,” attended the First Council of Constantinople in 381, and is the author of the first of the two series of Catecherical Lectures traditionally associated with his name.

    Fathers of the Church, Vol. 64, The Works of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Volume 1 (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1949), p. 12.

    The second series is, of course, the series of Mystagogic Lectures, the fifth of which you cited.

    As for the disposal of the leftover elements in your former PCA church, yes – they don’t treat the consecrated elements with a superstitious relevance after the sacrament is complete. We recognize the difference between that and many of the medieval practices, where extreme measures were taken if a drop of consecrated wine were to be absorbed into a carpet.

    And we also recognize that such extreme reverence goes way back in history. And we’re fine with that. None of that, of course, helps you find transubstantiation in the fathers. After all, there is no evidence of any of the fathers thinking that the consecration produced the result that the bread retained the accidents of bread but underwent a change of substance so that the substance was the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.

    -TurretinFan

    P.S. Did you notice that Pseudo-Cyril’s description of the then-current (whenever then is) practices of receiving the bread and the cup differs from the practices of your own church (whether pre- or post- Vatican II)? Yes, we in my church differ from him too – but you seem upset when we do, while you also differ with him and it’s all ok. Seems like a strange double-standard from where we’re sitting.

  546. David H. said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Clarification:

    Some of the best Christians I know are Reformed. Post 544 was not an indictment on all the Reformed. My Reformed friends and family act like Christians and grown ups.

  547. TurretinFan said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Dave H. wrote:

    The concern for souls is very apparent. I must have missed that part in the sermon on the mount where Jesus taught his disciples to mock, revile, gloat, smear and rejoice in hate (I know it is really love because you are concerned for our souls…. riiiight).

    That is a sad but unsurprising response.

    -TurretinFan

  548. D. T. King said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:09 am

    The clearest way to let the fathers ‘speak for themselves’ which is what we all are always encouraging, makes a Reformed reading pretty difficult.

    The clearest way? I do encourage folk to let the fathers ‘speak for themselves’, which makes a Romanist reading very difficult. Here’s an example from an authentic work of Cyril of Jerusalem, and I don’t recall any Romanist ever explaining the meaning of these words. All folk like yourself do is claim “out of context,” without ever explaining what his words do mean in context. But here’s your golden opportunity to put things in context. :)

    Cyril of Jerusalem (318-386): Keep this seal in mind at all times. I have spoken of it summarily, touching the main points, but if the Lord grant, I shall discuss it more fully later, to the best of my power, with proof from the Scriptures. For in regard to the divine and holy mysteries of the faith, not even a casual statement should be delivered without the Scriptures, and we must not be drawn aside merely by probabilities and artificial arguments. Do not believe even me merely because I tell you these things, unless you receive from the inspired Scriptures the proof of the assertions. For this saving faith of ours depends not on ingenious reasonings but on proof from the inspired Scriptures. Fathers of the Church, Vol. 61, Catechesis IV.17 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, Inc., 1969), pp. 127-128.

    Can you imagine any pope saying, “Do not believe even me merely because I tell you these things, unless you receive from the inspired Scriptures the proof of the assertions?”

  549. David H. said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:10 am

    “That is a sad but unsurprising response.”

    It is also true. A man’s behavior tells you more than his words.

  550. louis said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:15 am

    #546. That’s right, David. When all else fails, act Holier-than-thou. But as Steve Hays already pointed out (#541), you people have no problem with the same kind of language coming from your own side. It also feels a little weird being lectured in civility by members of a church who routinely burned their opponents at the stake for about as long as they could get away with it.

  551. TurretinFan said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Dave H. wrote: “It is also true. A man’s behavior tells you more than his words.”

    a) It is truly how you feel. I believe that.

    b) Your accusations regarding us and our motivations are false.

    c) The truth of our doctrine does not, of course, hinge on us (nor was this thread ever about us).

    d) If you disagree with (c), why don’t you apply that to your own church? (see this link) Your church has slaughtered innocent people, engaged in horrific inquisitions, promoted Julius III and Alexander VI to the highest level, and so on and so forth. And you are grousing because people point out that you are outside of the visible church. The double-standard is truly breathtaking.

    -TurretinFan

  552. D. T. King said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:23 am

    And when you explain the above “out of context” quote, please explain to me the following “out of context” citation from Cyril later on in the same work where he repeats himself virtually to the same effect…

    Cyril of Jerusalem (318-386): Now do not fix your attention on any skill of language on my part, for perhaps you may be deceived; unless you get the testimony of the prophets on each point, do not believe what is said. Unless you learn from the Holy Scriptures regarding the Virgin, the place, the time, the manner, “do not receive the witness of man.” For one who is now present and teaches may be open to suspicion; but what man of sense will suspect him who prophesied a thousand years ago and more? If then you seek the reason for Christ’s coming, go back to the first book of the Scriptures. Fathers of the Church, Vol. 61, Catechesis XII.5 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, Inc., 1969), p. 229.

  553. D. T. King said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:26 am

    It is also true. A man’s behavior tells you more than his words.

    Did you practice that in front of a mirror? :)

  554. Jeff Cagle said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:53 am

    I’m going to play the role of devil’s advocate for a moment, simply to get everything clear in the mind.

    (1) TFan: In the Tim Troutman piece, he cites Justin Martyr from Apology 1.66. What do you make of that particular quote?

    (2) Sean: Many of the citations there are able to be interpreted as either (a) transubstantiation, (b) consubstantiation, or (c) Calvin’s view. What is the strongest concise argument that convinces you that these quotes are definitely (a) and not (b,c).

    (3) Sean again: Jason Stellman has argued intriguingly that the ECFs had a complex view of the Eucharist that is neither exactly Protestant nor exactly Roman Catholic. How would you falsify his thesis?

    (4) Sean again, with feeling: What do you understand by the word “substance”? How does one tell one substance from another?

  555. D. T. King said,

    December 14, 2010 at 9:57 am

    And when you explain how those two quotes above are “out of context,” please explain to me how the following citation is out of context…

    Cyril of Jerusalem (318-386): Let us assert of the Holy Spirit, therefore, only what is written; let us not busy ourselves about what is not written. The Holy Spirit has authored the Scriptures; He has spoken of Himself all that He wished, or all that we could grasp; let us confine ourselves to what He has said, for it is reckless to do otherwise. Fathers of the Church, Vol. 64, The Works of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis Lecture 16, §2 (New York: Fathers of the Church, Inc., 1949), pp. 76-77.

    I know I must be misreading Cyril in my citations of him, so you men can apply your “religiously correct” Roman hermeneutic of the ECFs to correct me.

    And Mr. H., please explain to me as well how Cyril managed agree with the Jews and Protestants on the numbering of the OT canon, and in his rejection of the apocrypha?

    Cyril of Jerusalem (318-386): The teaching you have heard is that of the divinely-inspired Scriptures, both of the Old and the New Testament. For there is one God of the two Testaments, who foretold in the Old Testament the Christ who appeared in the New, and who, through the preparatory school of the Law and the Prophets, led us to Christ. For “before the faith came, we were guarded under the Law”; and, “the Law trained us for Christ’s school.” And so, if ever you hear any heretic blaspheming the Law or the Prophets, quote that saving word against him: Jesus came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. Be eager to learn, and from the Church, what are the books of the Old Testament, what of the New; and I pray you, read none of the apocryphal books. For why should you, when you do not know the books acknowledged by all, trouble yourself needlessly with those whose authenticity is disputed? Read the divine Scriptures, these twenty-two books of the Old Testament translated by the seventy-two interpreters. Fathers of the Church, Vol. 61, Catechesis IV.33 (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, Inc., 1969), pp. 135.
    Greek text: Ταῦτα δὲ διδάσκουσιν ἡμᾶς οἱ θεόπνευστοι γραφαὶ τῆς παλαιᾶς τε καὶ καινῆς διαθήκης. Εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὁ τῶν δύο διαθηκῶν Θεὸς, ὁ τὸν ἐν τῇ καινῇ φανέντα Χριστὸν ἐν τῇ παλαιᾷ προκαταγγείλας· ὁ διὰ νόμου καὶ προφητῶν εἰς Χριστὸν παιδαγωγήσας. Πρὸ γὰρ τοῦ ἐλθεῖν τὴν πίστιν, ὑπὸ νόμον ἐφρουρούμεθα· καὶ ὁ νόμος παιδαγωγὸς ἡμῶν γέγονεν εἰς Χριστόν. Κἄν ποτε τῶν αἱρετικῶν ἀκούσῃς τινὸς βλασφημοῦντος νόμον ἢ προφήτας, ἀντίφθεγξαι τὴν σωτήριον φωνὴν, λέγων· Οὐκ ἦλθεν Ἰησοῦς καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον, ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι. Καὶ φιλομαθῶς ἐπίγνωθι, καὶ παρὰ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, ποῖαι μέν εἰσιν αἱ τῆς παλαιᾶς διαθήκης βίβλοι, ποῖαι δὲ τῆς καινῆς. Καί μοι μηδὲν τῶν ἀποκρύφων ἀναγίνωσκε. Ὁ γὰρ τὰ παρὰ πᾶσιν ὁμολογούμενα μὴ εἰδὼς, τί περὶ τὰ ἀμφιβαλλόμενα ταλαιπωρεῖς μάτην; Ἀναγίνωσκε τὰς θείας γραφὰς, τὰς εἴκοσι δύο βίβλους τῆς παλαιᾶς διαθήκης ταύτας, τὰς ὑπὸ τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα δύο Ἑρμηνευτῶν ἑρμηνευθείσας. Catecheses ad illuminandos IV, §33, PG 33:493, 496.

    Mr. H., please show me how I have misread Cyril of Jerusalem in his *numbering* of the canon in his acceptance of the precedent of the Jewish numbering of the canon according to Josephus. And never fear, with Mr. Riello cheering you guys on, in the excellent job you’re doing here, I know that you guys are going to excel with even greater displays of apologetic acumen.

  556. David H. said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

    It is okay to act like a juvenile jerk because some Catholics did bad things centuries ago? Got it. As if Protestants never killled Catholics right? What a selective view of history.

    Please don’t excuse rude, condescending behavior in your interpersonal interactions here and now because other people have done bad things or have acted hypocritical elsewhere and at different times.

    You may as well say “I can treat Anglicans like crap because Henry the VIII was a bad guy”. Even my preschooler knows better than that. And I am sure you do too.

    If you would not treat us like this face to face (I am sure you would not) then act like the men you are in person. That should not be hard for anyone, especially those who name the name of Christ.

  557. David H. said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:05 am

    It is also true. A man’s behavior tells you more than his words.

    “Did you practice that in front of a mirror? :)”

    No need. If it was face to face I am more than certain the rebuke would have been unnecessary. The internet is the great equalizer.

  558. Ron said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:07 am

    It’s a bit passing strange that David H. can say that some of the best Christians he knows are “Reformed” yet the Reformed preach a gospel that is antithetical to Rome’s gospel and such people have received the unambiguous anathama of the Roman sect. By these standards one can be of the “best” sort of Christian yet burn in hell for eternity. Obviously, David H. is not true to his Romanism unless it suits him.

  559. Ron said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Why don’t Protestants ever get elevated to sainthood if they’re such great Christians?

  560. steve hays said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Both Sean and David exhibit classic confirmation bias. They see themselves as loving, but in practice they only love the in-group. Their in-group. Roman Catholics are their frame of reference. They perceive all imagined slights in relation to their coreligionists. They are completely tone-deaf to how they treat the out-group. It’s sociopathic.

    Just take one example: Sean complains about the comparison between Catholics and Muslims. (Not my comparision, btw.)

    I point out that Bryan compared Protestants to Gnostics, Deists, and Docetists.

    How does David respond? Does he acknowledge the evident inconsistency? No. That’s because Bryan is one of his own. So we’re constantly treated to these double-dealing complaints.

  561. David H. said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Ron,

    Your post shows that you are either ignorant of what Rome has to say about Protestants (and what “anathema” means) or you are deceptive. I will choose believe the former about you.

  562. Ron said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Exegete this David H. and please tell us how your esoteric interpretation carries any authority?

    CANON 12: “If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified … let him be accursed”

  563. louis said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:17 am

    #556: Okay, David, let’s just deal with your behavior in the here and now.

    You said: “…and rejoice in hate…. the last several posts on here. They won’t find evidence of Christian Reform. They will see the spirit of rebellion….act like Christians and grown ups…. juvenile jerk…. rude, condescending behavior….”.

    So, we say Romanists are unbelievers, and according to David H. we are hateful, childish, lacking the spirit of Christ and having a spirit of rebellion, juvenile jerks, rude, condescending, etc.

    David H. calls us hateful, childish, lacking the spirit of Christ and having a spirit of rebellion, juvenile jerks, rude, condescending, etc., and according to David H….. what?…. you are a true Christian?

    No hypocrisy there, huh?

  564. David H. said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Steve,

    Thanks for the psychoanalysis. You have perfectly exhibited projection.

    I can almost gaurantee that I spend far more time with Protestants in real life than you do with Catholics.

    I have not seen Bryan around here. So why are you dragging someone else into it? Does that somehow excuse any of you? I never mentioned Bryan nor do I know him. What I have read of his though has been far more charitable and non personal. Unlike several people here. But he does not need my defense.

  565. David H. said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Louis,

    “So, we say Romanists are unbelievers”

    Yeah. That is all that was said. Maybe you should go back and read what was actually said. Calling people out after several dozen personal attacks on several individuals because they are Catholic can hardly be equated with the behavior throughout this long thread.

  566. steve hays said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:35 am

    David,

    You’re the one who chose to make this an issue about love. Well the acid test of neighbor love is how you treat people you personally dislike. Clearly there are some commenters here who rub you the wrong way. Same thing with Sean. And how do you react?

    Well, you react just like folks normally react when dealing with people they dislike. You dislike some of us, and it shows.

    In the meantime, where’s all that eucharistic grace that you and Sean brag about? Here you’re imbibing Jesus every Sunday. So shouldn’t we have reason to expect more from you and Sean?

    But you’re high sacramental theology doesn’t cash out into anything tangible.

    Bryan is not a charitable person. He assumes a charitable tone, since that’s good PR, but he’s not charitable in the way he administers CTC.

    For example, I recently documented the fact that Tim Troutman and Sean Patrick flagrantly violated their own posting guidelines. And how did the other admins at CTC respond?

    Needless to say, they did nothing to hold Sean and Tim accountable. Once more, that’s the acid test of neighbor love. They only love their own kind, and it shows.

    And, once again, what does this say about all the eucharistic grace that’s allegedly surging through their system? Where is Jesus present in their actions, David?

  567. TurretinFan said,

    December 14, 2010 at 10:41 am

    David H.:

    You wrote:

    It is okay to act like a juvenile jerk because some Catholics did bad things centuries ago? Got it. As if Protestants never killled Catholics right? What a selective view of history.

    Please don’t excuse rude, condescending behavior in your interpersonal interactions here and now because other people have done bad things or have acted hypocritical elsewhere and at different times.

    You may as well say “I can treat Anglicans like crap because Henry the VIII was a bad guy”. Even my preschooler knows better than that. And I am sure you do too.

    If you would not treat us like this face to face (I am sure you would not) then act like the men you are in person. That should not be hard for anyone, especially those who name the name of Christ.

    You seem to have trouble following the argument. Let me try to spell it out for you. It’s not the way you’ve characterized it. Instead:

    1) You claimed that you wouldn’t be Reformed because some Reformed people are – let’s just say – not nice.

    2) I pointed out that this not being nice pales in comparison to the atrocities your church has committed.

    Your appropriate response would be to acknowledge that yes, it’s invalid to say that because you think some Reformed people are not nice, therefore their points are not worthy of consideration.

    Instead, you seemingly lost track of the discussion (easy to do with so many people talking) and decided that I was arguing that it is ok to be mean to you because of the atrocities that your church has committed. That’s not what I said or meant.

    I should add a few clarifying points, in case you missed them:

    1) I don’t accept your claim that we’re being mean to you by telling you the truth in a blunt way.

    2) Your church’s past behavior is significant because one of the arguments your church tries to claim is apostolic succession. Apostolic succession sounds nice because the Apostles seem like such great guys — succession from those who slaughtered the Albigensians, who persecuted the Lollards and Hussites, and from Alexander VI and Julius III does not sound so nice. If you are making a claim for historical continuity, these inconvenient truths cannot be swept under the carpet as century-old data. And – of course – as my link illustrated, not all the atrocities are medieval.

    3) The preceding points, of course, don’t really address whether particular claims that Rome makes are true. The papacy may be the anti-Christ, but that doesn’t mean that everything that Benedict XVI says is false. So the above should be carefully limited to what it is – a response to your griping about relatively trivial perceived offenses and an observation about the weakness of Rome’s claims to be “the Catholic church.” They are not a rebuttal to (for example) Sean’s claims about the fathers, or other of Rome’s particular claims.

    -TurretinFan

  568. TurretinFan said,

    December 14, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Jeff C. wrote:

    (1) TFan: In the Tim Troutman piece, he cites Justin Martyr from Apology 1.66. What do you make of that particular quote?

    As I think I mentioned in my response to Sean, Justin Martyrs words are reasonably susceptible of a wide range of interpretations. For example, someone who viewed the bread as only symbolic could adopt what Justin Martyr said there.

    He’s appealing to the fact that we digest the food and drink of the Eucharistic meal to nourish our flesh and blood, and saying that we receive the elements as the blood and body of Jesus Christ. This is something completely consistent with either a bare symbolic view or a Reformed view (or something close to a Reformed View). It would be a very strange thing for someone who held to transubstantiation to say.

    You may notice that typical Eastern Orthodox and Romanist appeals to this text omit the portion where Justin Martyr teaches credo-communion:

    And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [Literally, thanksgiving. See Matt. xxvi. 27.], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined.

    (source)

    -TurretinFan

  569. Ron said,

    December 14, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Picking up on something TF… For someone to say he would not become X because those that embrace X are not nice is to suggest that subjective feelings may override any responsibility one might have to consider and embrace objective truth. I don’t think anyone really thinks that way, but I can imagine that such a sentiment could be expressed in a manipulative sort of way while hiding behind a pre-commitment anti-X. In other words, “if I perish it’s because you are not nice and not because I refused to embrace the truth.”

    In any case, I marvel how after so many questions have been distilled the Romanists who visit the site always play the not nice card rather than addressing the questions. Again, it’s disgusting.

  570. Ron said,

    December 14, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Notice how loving David H. says that I don’t know what “anathema” means and that I’m at best ignorant and possibly deceptive, yet in love he chooses to believe the former about me. Notice how in love he will no doubt demonstrate no serious interaction with Canon 12, yet he makes counter claims to mine which are based upon Canon 12. Notice how in love he will not unpack his claim that many of the Reformed are of the “best” sort of Christian yet while despising the doctrines of what he believes to be the true church. In a word, just notice how David H. never interacts with anything other than in a superficial, drive by sort of way.

    Oh and BTW, how do we get from an infallible Peter to a perpetual, infallible magisterium, and why did God need such a magisterium to bring to pass what could have been accomplished through ordinary providence?

  571. Sean said,

    December 14, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Steve.

    We can’t all ascend to the wonderful level of discourse of Triablogue. Maybe you would respect us more if we could be as clever as you and craft arguments against your church by making fun of the elderly state of some of your leadership or cracking sexual jokes about your women?

    When I was investigating the Catholic Church I encountered your blogging and other blogging like yours. In a very real way you helped me get closer to the Catholic Church, so I guess I need to thank you. On the one hand, for the most part, we had adults who were engaging the issues from an honest and open perspective. On the other hand we had a handful of vinegar spewing Reformed lay persons throwing a myraid of arguments, the most of which were just noise, against the Barque of St. Peter. It made my decision a lot easier.

  572. TurretinFan said,

    December 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Sean (#571): Sounds like you based on your move (at least in part) on invalid reasoning. After all, whether or not Triablogue is nice or mean is irrelevant to the truth of Reformed claims. Perhaps you now see that one of your bases for turning to Rome was invalid. Are you willing to reconsider your move? -TurretinFan

  573. Sean said,

    December 14, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Jeff C.

    I just saw your series of questions.

    If you want to discuss that, which I certainly do, please ask your questions on the thread in Called to Communion. Your comments and questions are welcome and they are good questions and worthy of interaction.

    I am done with having to deal with all the noise here from a handful of people.

  574. David H. said,

    December 14, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Ron, if you want to misrpresent Catholic teaching it is reasonable to call you out on it. And you do misrepresent it. Teachers are held to a higher standard. I really hope you don’t preach misinformation to those in your church.

    You guys are justified saying anyuthing in your own mind. Rome is the enemy so the ends justify the means.

  575. TurretinFan said,

    December 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    David H.:

    You wrote:

    Ron, if you want to misrpresent Catholic teaching it is reasonable to call you out on it. And you do misrepresent it. Teachers are held to a higher standard. I really hope you don’t preach misinformation to those in your church.

    You guys are justified saying anyuthing in your own mind. Rome is the enemy so the ends justify the means.

    Ron literally quoted from Trent. Maybe you should reconsider your allegations.

    -TurretinFan

  576. steve hays said,

    December 14, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Sean said,

    “On the other hand we had a handful of vinegar spewing Reformed lay persons throwing a myraid of arguments, the most of which were just noise, against the Barque of St. Peter. It made my decision a lot easier.”

    I’m afraid you’re barqueing up the wrong tree.

  577. David H. said,

    December 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Sean,

    I can also attest the the fact that such a witness assisted in my journey. As a Protestant I decided to read some of the primary sources of Catholics and those mentioned, particularly in Reformed circles, as evidence against Catholicism – snippets of Trent, the Fathers etc. and found that what Archbishop Sheen said was true: “There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.”

    The dishonesty that so many take as gospel truth is astounding. This is the house that Boettner built. A lie repeated often enough and all that.